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Online Job Searches Rise As Economy Slides

Unemployed workers turn to the Internet to get careers back on track.
Visits to job sites soared last year, reflecting rising unemployment rates and economic fears.

"While much of the U.S. economy is suffering, one online category that has performed significantly better than average during these challenging times is job search," Jack Flanagan, executive VP of ComScore, said in a statement Thursday. "Online job search resources provide a vital service to those in need of new job prospects and opportunities, and Americans are turning online for this assistance now more than ever."

A report from ComScore showed the job search category was the fastest-growing content site category in 2008, with 51% growth. Nearly 19 million people visited job search sites last year, and ComScore spotted an atypical trend: Job search activity increased over the holidays.

CareerBuilder.com's job search was the most popular in the category with 9.1 million visitors. That's a 78% increase over the previous year. Yahoo HotJobs jobs search ranked second, drawing 5.6 million visitors, or nearly 2.5 times the traffic it received in 2007. Indeed.com drew 5.1 million visitors, or an 88% increase, to its job search pages. Simply Hired drew 3.1 million visitors, or more than 2.5 times the traffic it experienced in 2007.

ComScore found that women spent more time on job searches than they did last year.

"It's possible that women are being either disproportionately affected by job losses, or perhaps are playing a more active role in the job searches of their spouses," Flanagan said. "In addition, we could be seeing a phenomenon of more households needing to have dual wage earners, as consumers battle the economic crisis amidst a sharp reduction in the value of their assets and net worth."

People between ages 25 and 39 also spent substantially more time on job search sites in 2008, according to ComScore. A recent report from BusinessWeek said younger people have been hit harder than baby boomers by recent layoffs.

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