With more Americans out of work, career development Web sites have seen a surge in traffic, according to new data from Nielsen Online.
In January 2009, there were 49.7 million unique visitors to these sites, up from 41.5 million unique visitors in January 2008, an increase of 20 percent.
CareerBuilder was the top destination with 20.8 million visitors, followed by Yahoo/HotJobs and Monster.com, with 11.7 million and 9.5 million unique visitors, respectively.
Among age groups, the number of unique visitors to career development sites age 65 and older increased 41 percent year-over-year to 3.6 million.
"With the current unstable economy and rising unemployment rate, more people are heading online to search for jobs. While 65 used to be considered the age when most people retired, we are seeing a trend toward later retirement or partial retirement," said Chuck Schilling, research director, agency and media, Nielsen Online.
He added, "There's an opportunity for publishers and advertisers to appeal to this niche by providing content that's relevant to longtime career holders."
Several job sites have launched major campaigns of late, including Monster and CareerBuilder, which bought time on the Super Bowl, and TheLadders.com, which has gained buzz for its commercials that spoof Japanese monster moves.
Mediaweek is a unit of the Nielsen Co.