Monday, March 9, 2009

Traffic soars at job search Web sites

Verne Kopytoff, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, March 9, 2009

In his daily search for work, Dan Dalton scours nearly a dozen online job sites for openings.

Laid off six months ago from a Silicon Valley fuel cell company, he has firsthand experience with how tough the job market is these days. Although he's landed some interviews, he's had to face a lot of rejection, leaving him to sift through the Internet postings some more in hope of finding a company that will hire him.

"Today I had an interview, then I had to come back and draft the thank-yous, then I had a phone interview," Dalton said. "There seems to be a fair number of leads out there."

With the unemployment rate rising to 8.1 percent nationwide, career sites are booming in popularity as users desperately look for work. Traffic to job search sites, for instance, grew 51 percent in January from the same month a year earlier, according to comScore Media Metrix., Yahoo's HotJobs and CareerBuilder dominate the industry, attracting millions of users to their sites every month. In their shadow is a proliferation of smaller, specialized sites that focus on everything from technology ( to jobs that require security clearances ( to hourly work (

In all, there are an estimated 40,000 job boards.

Despite the boom in traffic, many recruitment sites are taking a financial hit. Many charge employers to post openings, a far less frequent activity in these days of hiring freezes and layoffs., a major job board, found that there were 119,171 postings for the accounting industry in January, down 53 percent from a year earlier. Postings in technology were down 43 percent to 395,629.

The sectors that held up the best were health care, which was down 8 percent to 581,625 postings, and education, in which postings fell 9 percent to 62,933.
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