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As job losses mount in the challenging US economy, growth to online job search sites has grown 51% to 18.8 million visitors, making? job search the fastest growing content site category in 2008, according to data released by comScore.

comScore Media Metrix data revealed that the final months of the year, which typically experience seasonal softness in job searching behavior because of? the holidays, were instead some of the most heavily trafficked months of 2008.

CareerBuilder.com Job Search led the category with 9.1 million visitors, up 78% vs. 2007, followed by Yahoo HotJobs Job Search with 5.6 million visitors (up 146%) and Indeed.com Job Search with 5.1 million visitors (up 88%). SimplyHired, Inc. had the strongest growth rate of the top ten sites in the category, growing 161% to 3.1 million visitors.

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“While much of the US economy is suffering, one online category that has performed significantly better than average during these challenging times is job search,” said Jack Flanagan, EVP of comScore. “Online job search resources provide a vital service to those in need of new job prospects and opportunities, and Americans are turning online for this assistance now more than ever.”

Womens Time Increases on Job Search Sites

comScore also conducted a profile of visitors to the job search category, based on various demographic segments’ share of December minutes spent on websites in the category and compared it with the same month in 2007. The following chart reveals which demographic segments were disproportionately affected by the current job market. Interestingly, the share of minutes spent by women in the category grew substantially, up 7.2 percentage points vs. 2007, comScore said.

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“It’s possible that women are being either disproportionately affected by job losses, or perhaps are playing a more active role in the job searches of their spouses,” added Flanagan. “In addition, we could be seeing a phenomenon of more households needing to have dual wage earners, as consumers battle the economic crisis amidst a sharp reduction in the value of their assets and net worth.”

Other demographic segments accounting for a substantially higher share of time spent on job sites in December 2008 vs. 2007 include people ages 25-49 (up 4.8 percentage points), households making at least $75K per year (up 3.1 percentage points), households without children (up 4.7 percentage points), and those in the South Atlantic (up 8.5 percentage points) and West South Central (up 3.9 percentage points) US Census regions.

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