The Digitally Unemployed: Are 20-Somethings Searching Online?

As 20-Somethings (see iPhone, Bon Iver tickets and a Fair Trade iced latte in hand) attempt to enter the workforce in a time when the unemployment rate teeters just below 10%, it would be no surprise to me to see this computer-savvy generation looking to the internet for guidance. As a recent college grad, I know the pains of job searching. With the unemployment rate rising in June and college students graduating in May, it made me wonder where exactly people are searching for jobs. As this generation continues to apply for jobs, will their online behavior influence job search websites?

To frame my search, I looked up the keyword “jobs” to see what websites receive the most traffic from keyword search. The results from April 13, 2011 – July 13, 2011 showed: receives approximately 12 million site referrals when someone searches for the keyword “jobs” online, while and receive approximately four times less search referrals. Looking at the Google S.E.R.P. results for that term, is second vs. which in itself is a post for another time.

As keyword search continues to drive traffic, do we notice an upward trend that mimics the increasing unemployment rate?

The top four job sites show an increase in traffic as unemployment rose through the year. and saw a significant traffic increase between April and May. Unemployment rose again between May and June and only saw an increase in traffic. Diving further into the data, we searched the demographics of each site to see what traffic 20-Somethings are driving to these websites.

The demographics for the top three sites showed:

15-16% of unique visitors to the top job sites were between the ages of 18-24. While the largest demographic of unique visitors are not 20-Somethings- who might be the most comfortable online- job search sites are receiving traffic from online users of all ages.

What we can clearly gather is that post-grads are still looking for jobs and are probably using any avenue they can to land themselves in an office. While we can’t say that they are looking solely online, we would bet that if you do hire a 20-something, chances are still high that they will greet you with a fresh, fair trade brew on their first day!


  • Where is the online generation searching for jobs?
  • Are job search websites successfully targeting 20-somethings?
  • How will job search websites continue to drive traffic when unemployment lowers?


About Alyssa Maine:
Alyssa is on the Inside Sales team here at Millward Brown Digital, working within the Financial Services and Technology & Entertainment industries delivering digital intelligence that helps clients improve their marketing based on the online behavior of millions of consumers. Find Alyssa on Twitter at @alyssamaine or connect with her on Linkedin.