Comscore, the Internet data company that I rely on for information about how many people are using what sites on the Internet yesterday reported that three of the fastest growing site categories (in percentage) were employment related. Job search was up by 24 percent, that's about 5.5 million more people searching online for work in January than there were in December. People searching for job training and education were up 16 percent, with more than two million more users in January. Finally, the number of people searching for "career resources" was up 15 percent, almost 8 million more.
Since I believe that numbering what people actually do is far more accurate than what polls report, it looks like the American economy is in more trouble than the administration says. I also believe that most people searching in the three categories listed above are looking for jobs because they don't have them. I know that December and Christmas season create a lot of temporary jobs, but if at least 8 million unique users are visiting employment sites, it does not speak well for the job market. I hope I'll have access to numbers in these categories next month, to test the effects of the "sequester" that goes into effect March 1. The numbers may be even worse.