Employees who have lost their jobs are likely happy to find any work they can, but a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that they may be able to do even better. According to data released by the agency, more than half of workers who were laid off between 2011 and 2013 and had spent at least three years at their jobs found work that paid more than their lost jobs by January 2014.

Back to work 
The BLS reported that more than 4 million of those long-tenured people were laid off during that period, and 61 percent had found work by the beginning of this year. Including those who had lost jobs that they held for less than three years, about 9.5 million workers had been laid off during that time. The agency's previous survey, covering the years between 2009 and 2011, found 12.9 million displaced workers in the country. Of those laid-off employees, only 56 percent were working again by January 2012.

Employment gaps 
Layoffs and re-employment were uneven across industries and occupations. Construction workers made up the largest number of those laid off in the three-year survey period, representing 18 percent of all layoffs. These employees were some of the most likely to find new work, however, with 68 percent re-employed by the time of the survey. Only workers in the trade and utilities sector and employees in leisure and hospitality fared better, with a 69 percent re-employment rate.

Job function also affected the likelihood of finding new work. The highest re-employment was seen in managerial professions, which had a rate of 67 percent, while just 54 percent of those previously working in transportation and production found jobs by 2014.

Rising pay 
Fortunately for those who returned to work, many found more gainful employment than they had left. Among those reporting salaries, 52 percent of displaced workers were making more at their new jobs than they were being being laid off.

According to the Payscale Index, salaries in general have increased slightly in the last year. Between the first quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, pay reportedly rose 0.7 percent. The year's second quarter saw a 1.8 percent increase from the previous year. The organization expects the trend to continue, anticipating a salary increase of 1.9 percent for 2014's third quarter.

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