An unemployed person who volunteers has a greater chance of finding a job than an unemployed non-volunteer, a new report from the Corporation for National and Community Service finds.
Based on an analysis of ten years of data from the Census Bureau and a sample of more than seventy thousand individuals age 16 and older, CNCS found that unemployed individuals who volunteered were 27 percent more likely to land a job than non-volunteers. The report, Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment: Does Volunteering Increase Odds of Finding a Job for the Out of Work?, also found that the relationship between volunteering and gainful employment has held steady over the past decade, suggesting that volunteering may provide an advantage regardless of economic conditions.
According to the report, the relationship between volunteering and employment was strongest among individuals without a high school diploma (a 51 percent increase in their chances of landing a job) and individuals who live in rural areas (55 percent increase). Earlier studies have shown that volunteering increases both “social” and “human” capital – factors that have been linked to employment success – while exposing unemployed individuals to fields and/or organizations in which they could see themselves working.
This research has far-reaching implications for the volunteer sector, for workforce agencies, for policy makers, and for those who are out of work. “We encourage nonprofits across the State to engage out-of-work Americans as volunteers and to help them develop skills and contacts and take on leadership roles” said Habitat for Humanity of WV, Director of Development, Lynn Corrie,” For those who are out of work, consider volunteering as one part of your job search strategies.” Contact information for local affiliates throughout WV can be found at www.habitatwv.org.