Broadband helps a job search

The Phoenix Center just released a report that indicates that having broadband helps motivate job seeker to continue the search…

Updating two studies from 2010, the Phoenix Center confirmed today that Americans who use the Internet are more likely to continue active job searches and less likely to drop out of the labor force than those that do not use the Internet.

The Phoenix Center uses old reports and new results to come to this conclusion. The newer data is of course more relevant because it’s more recent – but earlier data got into the specifics of whether having broadband made the difference or using the broadband for job seeking made the difference. I have to admit that what I find amazing is that they could find job seekers who weren’t using the Internet – especially in the later studies.

They offer some policy recommendations…

If it is important for the economy and its participants to keep jobless persons actively searching for work, then the Internet is a powerful tool for doing so. Econometric analysis of Census Bureau data indicates that searching for jobs on the Internet greatly reduces labor market discouragement, thereby keeping the jobless active in their search. As such, expanded Internet adoption and availability are two ways to improve the functioning of labor markets. Importantly, our findings indicate that the effectiveness of the Internet for job search is not restricted to home subscriptions; public access to the Internet, such as schools and public libraries, is also an effective option. Policymakers should not disregard such alternatives in favor of a rigid requirement that broadband be built to everyone’s home—a prohibitively expensive undertaking.

Then they make some recommendations on intercarrier compensation and universal service, which seemed a little off the original scope of the report – but it does help make the point that even the wonkiest policies will have an impact on the things most American care about – such as unemployment or even more to the point – finding a job

This entry was posted in economic development, Research by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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