Newspapers Still Popular for Job Searches

December 21, 2005 ( - Even with the growing number of Internet job search sites, a majority of employees still rely on newspapers to locate new positions, a new study showed.

The report by The Conference Board found that 75% of job seekers turn to newspapers for lists of position openings. However, 60% of those searching for work relied on the Internet.

Newspapers are still the most common method of looking for a job in three of the four major regions across the US and in all but the top income group. The Western US is the only area where the Internet topped newspapers among those seeking jobs. Some 63% of job searchers 55 years and older in the Western US reported searching the Internet in a job search, while just 36% of this age group did so in the Southern US

“Despite the growth of the Internet, help-wanted advertisements in newspapers are still attracting large numbers of job seekers,” said Linda Barrington, Research Director at The Conference Board, in a news release. “Job seekers are combining newspaper ads and checking Internet job postings as part of their job search efforts. It is a minority that only uses the Internet.”

Related findings:

  • Just under 60% reported using some other method such as friends, professional organizations, search agency, etc.
  • Nearly 60% combined newspaper searches with the Internet or another search vehicle such as a search agency. Of those who reported using only one search method, just under half chose newspapers. This is double the percentage that chose to job search only using the Internet.
  • In all four regions of the US, job searchers under 35 years old reported higher usage of the Internet than newspapers for job searches, with little “digital divide” among these youngest job seekers. Among job seekers with household incomes of $50,000 and over – the highest group – more than three-quarters reported using the Internet in their job search, while roughly 70% used newspapers. Those with household incomes below $25,000 were more likely to search newspapers than the Internet (80% to roughly 50%, respectively). Internet activity reported by employment seekers under 35 years old, however, is essentially the same for those with household incomes below $25,000 and those at or above $50,000.

The vast majority of recent job seekers who used the Internet did so by reading help-wanted ads posted online (88%), and nearly six in 10 submitted a resume/application online. Almost half of those looking for work are researching potential employers on the Internet. While 43% posted a resume with an online search service, just over a third signed up for e-mail notifications of job listings, according to the Conference Board.

On the advertisers’ side of the job market, the Internet job boards have moved from being part of the technology boom of the 1990s into a more stable growth industry. Over 1,200 Internet job boards are now tracked monthly in The Conference Board Help-Wanted Online Data Series.

The latest report is based on a nationally representative sample of 5,000 households surveyed monthly for The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index by TNS.