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October, 2000, Vol. 123, No. 10
Job search methods: Internet versus traditionalPeter Kuhn and Mikal Skuterud
In the current "e-commerce" boom, much attention has been paid to how the
This article examines the frequency and incidence of Internet job search among U.S. workers, by race, gender, and other demographic characteristics, the location of the job search (from home, from work, or from other access points), and the relation between Internet search and traditional job search methods. Internet job search data are from a special supplement to the December 1998 Current Population Survey (CPS), which asked respondents about computer and Internet use.2 The traditional job search methods are from the monthly CPS, where they are used by the BLS to determine if a respondent is an active jobseeker.3 The nine traditional methods are:
• Contacted employer directly
• Contacted public employment agency
• Contacted private employment agency
• Contacted friends or relatives
• Contacted school employment center
• Sent résumés/filled applications
• Checked union/professional registers
• Placed or answered ads
• Used other active search methods
Note that there is a possibility of overlap between search for a job via the Internet and the traditional methods outlined in the CPS. For example, unemployed jobseekers who say they "contacted employers directly" may have done so through the Internet, perhaps submitting a résumé via e-mail (Internet search) or they may have actually mailed or personally delivered a copy of the résumé to potential employers (traditional search).
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1 For a list of the sites, see http://www.internetpost.com/Internetpost/AlphaList.html (visited July 19, 2000).
2 The questions on Internet job search were part of a series of longer questions about general Internet use. The December 1998 CPS Computer and Internet Use Supplement questionnaire is available online at http://www.bls.census.gov/cps/computer/1998/smethdocz.htm (visited Oct. 5, 2000).
3 To be classified as an "active" jobseeker, the individual must report using at least one of the nine traditional search methods (see bulleted list on page 3).
Related BLS programs
Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
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Job search methods and results: tracking the unemployed, 1991.—Dec. 1992.
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