Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tough Times for Jobs, Good Times for Job Search

Things have gone from bad to worse for people with(out) jobs or named Jobs.

First there was the news that December saw over 100,000 people lose their jobs at America's 500 biggest public companies -- and, so far, January hasn't been any better with more layoffs including, most recently, Microsoft, which just let go of 1,400 employees and plans to sack 3,600 more. Then there was the news that Steve Jobs' health has deteriorated to the point where he has to take a leave of absence from Apple.

Not surprisingly, all this has been a boon for job search sites -- not to mention, Steve Jobs rumor sites. On Thursday, comScore released an analysis of the job search category in the U.S. Apparently, job search was the "fastest growing content site category" last year with visitors up 51 percent to 18.8 million.

As for the top job search sites, CareerBuilder was #1 in December at 9+ million uniques, Yahoo/Hot Jobs #2 at 5.5+MM, #3 at 5+MM, and Monster #4 at 3.7+MM. Of the top 10 job search sites, only Monster reflected negative year-over-year traffic. Maybe it has something to do with its crummy functionality and natural search optimization -- as I pointed out in my recent Search Insider column, The Elusive Job Search., the one job search engine I cited as actually delivering the goods was up 88% year-over-year in traffic. It was also responsible for my wife turning her job search into a job find! (See my comment here for the full story.)

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like things are going to turn around here in the States anytime soon -- regardless of who's in the White House. While there may be one segment of the digital media community that's found a silver lining in all this mess, let's hope for everyone's sake that, at this time next year, we're looking at declining traffic for job search sites -- and improved health for Steve.

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