A new study indicated that using the Internet to look for a job (Internet job search or IJS) can help reduce unemployment time. Contrary to a 2004 study, which found that using the Internet was an ineffective tool or that those seeking work were not as qualified, Kuhn and Mansour’s (2011) study revealed that using the Internet to look for work cuts the time spent unemployed by an average of 25%.
The researchers explained that the reason for this shift is due to major changes with the Internet since the 1990s. From 1998 to 2000, 24% of young people used the Internet to search for work. However, during 2008 to 2009, that number exploded to 74%.
One reason for the startling difference is that, whereas those who turned to the Internet a decade ago oftentimes did not have personal contacts, today people who have and use their personal contacts online see their chances of finding work dramatically improve.
Another reason is due to improvements in the job sites/boards themselves, which are better designed and much more tailored to individual users and their specific needs.
Finally, and most obviously, the Internet has grown at such an exponential rate (its overall penetration and connectivity) that an Internet job search today yields a better result than a decade ago.
Kuhn, P., & Mansour, H. (2011). Is Internet Job Search Still Ineffective? Retrieved from http://ftp.iza.org/dp5955.pdf.