Study: Internet reduces unemployment time

Oct. 5, 2011 at 8:59 PM
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DENVER, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Using the Internet to look for a job reduces the time spent out of work by an average of 25 percent, U.S. researchers said in a direct contradiction of an earlier study.

A 2004 study had shown using the Internet actually prolonged unemployment, said researchers at the University of Colorado, Denver, who conducted the latest research.

"In 2004, the researchers came up with two scenarios for their findings -- the Internet was not an effective tool or that people who looked online for jobs were not as qualified," Hani Mansour, a professor of economics who was part of the new study, said in a university release Wednesday.

However, the breadth and depth of the Internet has changed dramatically since the late 1990s, Mansour said.

The percentage of young unemployed workers using the Internet to look for employment increased from 25 percent in1998/ 2000 to 74 percent in 2008/2009.

Web job sites are better designed, and far more specific and user friendly than in the past, Mansour said.

"This hypothesis is certainly consistent with our findings that the Internet is highly effective when used to look at ads, to send out resumes and to fill applications," the study said. "Simply because the Internet now connects each worker to many more firms [and vice versa] in several new and low-cost ways, it may be a more powerful tool in the job search process than it was a decade ago."

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