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New data from Snagajob, an hourly employment marketplace, shows that mobile job searches have increased by 95 percent in the past year.
The data is part of Snagajob's second "Counter Intelligence: The Snagajob Service Industry Hiring Report," a look back at hourly job seeker activity based on data captured from its website from April 2012 through March 2013. The report found that while job seekers nearly doubled their mobile searching compared to the previous 12-month period, there wasn't a proportional increase in applications submitted.
In general, job seekers continue to be selective of which jobs they pursue. According to the "Intensity Index," a measurement of the number of job seeker applications submitted per job seeker, users submitted 4.3 percent fewer applications. Job seekers under the age of 24 only saw a 2.1 percent decline.
"As the unemployment rate has dropped, we've seen that job seekers aren't as interested in applying for any job, but more so for the right job," said Jason Hamilton, vice president of marketing at Snagajob.
Another key driver of the decrease in applications per job seeker, a trend repeated in other industry indexes, could be the increase in mobile activity. Snagajob found that job seekers submit roughly three times more applications on desktop computers as compared to mobile devices.
"Smartphones let job seekers identify new opportunities on the go, but applying for jobs on mobile devices is easier said than done," Hamilton said. "Until applying through mobile devices is made easier, we can expect to see job seekers continue to browse for or save jobs using their smartphones to return to later on desktop devices. This break between when job seekers find new jobs and apply gives them more time to discern which jobs they really want, which can be good news for hiring managers, as it shows job seekers are pursuing positions more closely aligned with their interests and skill set."
Also, for the second consecutive quarter, more job seekers resumed their search compared to the previous 12 months, by an increase of 3.1 percentage points. The "Reactivation Index," a measurement of job seekers who have picked up their job search after at least three months of inactivity, showed younger job seekers under the age of 24 leading the charge, with a 6.8 percent increase over the previous April-to-March period. Job seekers ages 45 and older though stepped away from the job search, dropping 2.4 percentage points.
Within the restaurant industry, the brands that saw the biggest increase in job seeker interest were Wendy's, El Pollo Loco, Bruegger's Bagels, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Elevation Burger.
The most popular job listing in the restaurant category for the first quarter, as determined by application volume, was for a restaurant crew member at Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Read more about trends and statistics.