RealTime IT News

Job Seekers Pound The Virtual Pavement

Looking for a job? Chances are you're using the Internet to find it.

While going online for job opportunities isn't new (the biggest jobs-related search site, Monster.com, started as a bulletin board system in 1994), the number of people going online in search of job listings is growing at an aggressive rate.

In a survey of workers who searched for a job between January and September 2007, 73 percent reported using the Internet compared to 66 percent of job seekers in the same three quarters of 2005, according to research just released by The Conference Board Friday.

"The Internet has become the most popular method of job searching," said Gad Levanon, an economist at The Conference Board, in a statement. "Newspapers are still popular as a major job search method, but job seekers reported using them less, dropping from 75 percent to 65 percent between 2005 and 2007."

The Conference Board's research found that most job seekers continue to use more than one method to find a job. Online and print ads were not mutually exclusive and are still the most frequently used methods to explore job openings. However, over half (51%) of job seekers reported networking through friends and colleagues as part of their job search. About one quarter (24%) responded that they used other methods, such as employment agencies.

In September 2007, there were 4,270,000 online advertised job vacancies according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series (HWOL). There were 2.78 advertised vacancies online for every 100 persons in the labor force in September. The HWOL data series reports monthly on the sum of the number of unduplicated online job vacancies.

The research, by the not-for-profit organization, is based on a nationally representative sample of 5,000 households surveyed monthly for The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index and is conducted on behalf of The Conference Board by TNS.

Market leader Monster.com had a difficult summer, reporting a 28 percent drop in profits from the prior year and initiated a restructuring program in July that resulted in 800 layoffs. Competitors include smaller, more vertically oriented sites such as Justtechjobs, acquired in December by Jupitermedia, the parent company of this Web site. Craigslist has also grown to be a big provider of job listings in large cities.