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April 24, 2014

Online Job Postings Seeing Rapid Growth

by Mil Arcega

Applications for unemployment benefits jumped in the United States to a seasonally-adjusted 329,000 last week, up 24,000 from the week before.  Unemployment is still high at 6.7 percent.  But for job seekers, especially those with college educations, researchers at a prominent University in Washington say finding a job can be as easy as logging on to a computer.

It used to be that looking for a job meant pounding the pavement, knocking on doors and poring over help-wanted ads.  But that’s changing, thanks to the Internet.   A new report by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce says, for college graduates, looking for a job is getting easier.

The report’s lead author, Tony Carnevale, spoke to VOA, appropriately enough online, via Skype.

“More than 80 percent of those jobs that existed, at any point in time, are available online," said Carnevale.

At the height of the recession - when U.S. unemployment peaked at 10 percent, just a little more than two million jobs were being posted each month.  But as the recovery takes hold, Carnevale says the job picture looks increasingly bright.

“We’re now at about 3.7 million job openings out there.  By the time the recovery is done, we think we’ll get to maybe five million job openings online," he said.

That’s great news for Georgetown Junior Jamil Hamilton.  Only once has he ever applied in person for a job at a shopping mall.   

“I think my generation - the idea of going door to door, out knocking and saying, hey are you hiring? - like that - doesn’t exist anymore...those days are gone, just go online," said Hamilton.

Kim Dancy recently graduated with a Masters degree in Public Policy.  She found her dream job as an education policy researcher.   But she says finding the perfect job online takes a lot of perseverance.

“It can be really frustrating and it takes a long time, but if you applied for enough positions and really do your homework you will get somewhere," said Dancy.
 
The report’s findings suggest careers in the so-called STEM fields - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - provide the greatest opportunities, with salaries that range between $30 to $45 an hour.  But for maximum income and satisfaction, Professor Carnevale says workers must be prepared to move and change jobs at least every five years.