Mac’s List Survey Finds Many Local Professionals Unhappy at Work and Looking Elsewhere


Oregon and Washington Job Seeker Report 2023 highlights what workers want and how employers can attract and keep talent

Portland, Ore., Dec. 5, 2023 – A new report from Mac’s List, the Pacific Northwest’s premier job board, says many local professionals are unhappy at work, looking for a new job, and believe the job market offers them options elsewhere. The report also outlines what employers can do to improve worker recruitment and satisfaction. 

“Our 2023 job seeker survey found a high level of dissatisfaction at work,” says Mac Prichard, founder and CEO of Mac’s List. “More than three quarters of respondents said they are looking for a new job, and eight out of 10 respondents said the job market is OK, good or better for candidates.”

“We also heard what employers can do to attract applicants,“ says Prichard. “The top five factors survey respondents say matter when deciding to apply for a job are salary, benefits, skill set match, company culture, and commute time.” 

These and other findings are outlined in the Oregon and Washington Job Seeker Report 2023, an annual publication from Mac’s List. It draws on a survey between June 26 and July 26 of 1,190 local professionals in Oregon and Washington across various industries.

“Navigating the competitive labor market in Oregon and Washington remains challenging for employers,” Prichard says. “This report gives hiring managers insights into what workers in the Pacific Northwest want and care about when deciding whether or not to apply for a job or accept an offer.” 

Key Findings from the 2023 Mac’s List Job Seeker Survey:

  • Many Oregon and Washington professionals are unhappy at work. Despite record-low unemployment rates, on a scale of 1 as dissatisfied and 100 as very satisfied, respondents marked their satisfaction at 54. Factors cited by survey respondents include inadequate pay, burnout, cultural misalignment, and ineffective organizational leadership. Respondents also cited ageism, illness, disability, mental health challenges, and caregiving responsibilities as obstacles in their professional lives.
  • Most workers want a new job, will use multiple strategies to get it and think the job market is OK, good or great for candidates. A notable 36% of respondents actively seek new opportunities, while 43% are passively looking. When people start a job search, they don’t rely on online applications alone. Forty-five percent of respondents said they worked with recruiters, and 42% had used staffing agencies. Forty-three percent of job seekers described the job market as OK for candidates, with 38 percent calling it good or great. 
  • Workers know their value and salary expectations match what the market pays. Survey respondents generally expect yearly salaries of $50,000 to $100,000. These expectations align with market averages for Oregon and Washington. For employers, this underscores the importance of knowing and paying market wages and providing salary information when hiring. 
  • Money matters, but job seekers also want good benefits, cultural fit, work-life balance, and flexibility. Survey respondents ranked compensation second in six factors that matter when weighing a job offer. Number one was how a job fits with a candidate’s life. Culture fit, personal values, the hiring process, and flexibility were other factors mentioned. 

Download the Oregon and Washington Job Seeker Report 2023

To get your copy of the Oregon and Washington Job Seeker Report 2023, please [download it here].

About Mac’s List

Mac’s List is a regional job board in Portland, Oregon, for professionals and employers in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 2001 by Mac Prichard, Mac’s List shares high quality local job listings and practical, actionable career, and hiring advice. Mac’s List is the first Certified B Corp job board in the United States and its mission is to make the hiring process more human. Whether you’re looking for the right job, direction in your career, or your next new hire, the Mac’s List team is here to help. To learn more, visit