Phoenix finds job discouragement lower among Internet users

A persistently high unemployment rate and ongoing labor strife at Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) may have telecom industry types more worried about their jobs that any at anytime in recent memory--well, if your recent memory only goes back about three years.

If you have already lost your job, or you have real fear of losing it, take this advice: Stay online. The Phoenix Center, which 18 months ago released a study showing people who use the Internet are more likely to find jobs, have released a new perspective on their research that indicates unemployed people who continue to use the Internet face less job discouragement, are less likely to drop out of the employment pool and are more likely to find a job again.

You do not have to be a residential broadband user either--the Phoenix Center perspective accounts for dial-up Internet users and users of public, shared Internet connections. Dial-up Internet users are up to 50 percent more likely to face discouragement, and home broadband Internet users about 60 percent less likely to face discouragement when using the Internet to look for jobs.

Phoenix Center job discouragement results

Summary of results from the Phoenix Center's jobs research, 2007 and 2009, showing the reduction of labor market discouragement by type of connection. (Source: Perspectives, Aug. 18, 2011)

The Phoenix Center, which has long studied economic and telecommunications industry policy matters, re-analyzed data collected in 2009, 2007 and 2003 to develop this new perspective (A link to its long and detailed explanation of its methodology and the reason why is below). The unemployment rate is obviously higher now, but so is the number of people who have some form of Internet access. And, ultimately, the Phoenix Center's conclusion is just that--policy makers need to encourage more investment in broadband.

For more:
- here's the Phoenix Center perspective (PDF)

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