Study: African-Americans Biggest Users of Online Job Search

Washington — Nov. 6

African-Americans are more likely than the public at large to use the Internet to look for a job, particularly when it comes to using mobile devices and social media for that purpose, according to research unveiled today by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

The study, funded by the Joyce Foundation, explores the importance of Internet access to job searching among African-Americans. It found that African-Americans are more likely than other segments of the population to use the Internet to seek and apply for employment, and are also more likely to consider the Internet very important to the success of their job search.

In addition, the report found that confidence in one’s own digital skills correlates with a higher likelihood of using the Internet for a job search, suggesting that efforts to improve digital literacy would allow more people to take advantage of the dynamic employment tools that the Internet has to offer. This is particularly important given the high and ever-growing proportion of job openings that can be found only through online platforms.

The study’s other key findings include:

African-Americans rely on social media and on mobile devices for job search at higher rates than the general population.

Half of African-American Internet users said the Internet was very important to them in finding a job, significantly higher than the 36 percent average for the entire sample.

About 46 percent of African-American Internet users used the Internet at some point when they were last looking for a job, either by online search, emailing potential employers or using social networking sites. This compares to 41 percent for all respondents.

Thirty-six percent of African-Americans said they applied for a job online the last time they were in the job market, compared with 26 percent for all respondents.

About a third of African-Americans said social networking sites are very important to a job search, which is seven percentage points greater than the entire sample (24 percent).

Source: Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies