A survey of Washington workers who failed to find work before running out of unemployment benefits reveals that three of every four are still out of work.

In April, the state’s Employment Security Department e-mailed a survey to individuals who had run out of unemployment benefits since November 2009, and 5,065 responded. The claimants had access to as many as 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. Employment Security sought to find out if exhaustees have returned to work, the employment services they’re using and the barriers they’re running into while looking for new jobs.

“The survey contradicts the perception that unemployed workers wait until their benefits run out, then quickly find work,” said Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause.  “We know there aren’t enough jobs to go around right now, but there may be additional factors that keep employers from hiring these workers.”

The survey also found that:

• Nearly 25 percent of respondents have returned to work.
• 80 percent of those back at work are earning less than in their former jobs – on average, about 29 percent less.
• Of those who returned to work, about 19 percent found jobs out of state.
• Of those who haven’t found work, about 13 percent have stopped looking.