How did you find your job? On LinkedIn? Through connecting with a long lost schoolmate who now works at your dream company? Job hunting online has become the norm, to the point that households facing unemployment will prioritize having connectivity at home, even in the face of financial hardship.

Metrics in the NTIA’s annual report, “Exploring the Digital Nation: Embracing the Mobile Internet,” point to an increase in Internet adoption among the unemployed. In 2012, 75 percent of households facing unemployment had computers at home to aid in job seeking, a jump in 21 percentage points over 2001, when only 54 percent of unemployed householders owned a computer. Seventy percent of unemployed householders had home Internet access in 2012, compared to 50 percent in 2003.

It’s possible that the next time the same statistics are fielded, researchers will also ask about triple play connectivity for households facing unemployment, considering what high-speed Internet enables for job seekers:

  • Data: We read with interest this article about a woman in Kenya who was unable to send her 5Mb-sized job application to a non-governmental organization from a cyber café because the connection was too slow. With employers requiring attachments that can get quite large – examples of graphic work or scanned diplomas, for example – a broadband connection can be a major advantage in simply responding to an opening.
  • Video: On average, job hunters “leverage 16 sources during the hiring process”, according to an article in Forbes. This includes Vimeo, YouTube and other channels where companies offer a glimpse into their work culture, success stories and projects they’re working on. Additionally, six in 10 HR managers surveyed by OfficeTeam said they often use video conferencing to screen candidates
  • Voice: With the popularity of such virtual interviews, just having a faster upload speed can help a candidate and in general, it enables more reliable VoIP service.

Proliferating higher quality, reliable and secure Internet access to help people find gainful employment is one reason we’re connecting the unconnected. Another is the growing importance of workplace flexibility in attracting and retaining top talent – the Millennial generation, who will be 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, expect a seamless blend of work and life.  The Internet has become the underpinning of communities’ socioeconomic health, not to mention physical health. For more on our vision for bringing high-quality Internet to the under- and unconnected, read our white paper

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