Welfare to Web to Work: Internet Job Searching among Former Welfare Clients in Florida

By McDonald, Steve; Crew, Robert E., Jr. | Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, March 2006 | Go to article overview

Welfare to Web to Work: Internet Job Searching among Former Welfare Clients in Florida


McDonald, Steve, Crew, Robert E., Jr., Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare


This study provides the first empirical test of whether searching for jobs on the Internet can help people gain access to high quality jobs. Using new data from former welfare clients in Florida, we present results from a multivariate regression analysis of Internet job searching on wages and on a number of job benefits. On average, Internet job searchers receive better jobs than people who conducted more traditional job searches, net of numerous control variables. These findings suggest that welfare recipients have a great deal to gain from searching for their jobs on the Internet.

Keywords: welfare; Internet; computer; job search

**********

The remarkable increase in online recruiting and Internet job searching in the last decade has fundamentally transformed job searching and job allocation (Feldman & Klaas, 2002; Cappelli, 2001; Kuhn & Skuterud, 2000, 2004). The use of the Internet in job searching has the potential to lower unemployment and increase productivity to the economy as a whole (McConnell, Brue, & McPherson, 2002). However, Internet job searching and recruiting could also lead to an increase in labor market inequality, as employers may use the "digital divide" as a filtering technique (Cappelli, 2001). Firms often advertise on the Internet to screen out less desirable workers. Employers tend to view Internet applicants as better educated, more motivated and more resourceful (Niles & Hanson, 2003). Therefore, employers often use newspapers and print ads to recruit less-skilled employees, while using the Internet to target skilled workers to fill higher-level positions.

By relying solely on traditional job search methods, a job seeker may be limiting her access to low-pay, low-quality jobs. This assertion, however, has yet to be tested empirically, as most researchers simply assume that people can convert Internet access into valued resources (Dimaggio, Hargittai, Neuman, & Robinson, 2001). Only recently have researchers begun to examine the relative effectiveness of Internet job searching, although these investigations have focused on unemployment duration rather than on job quality (Kuhn & Skuterud, 2004; Fountain, 2005).

The potential for employment benefits from Internet job searching is greatest among vulnerable populations. Research on welfare recipients has focused on job matching processes and outcomes for former welfare clients (Lindhorst, Mancoske, & Kemp, 2000; Vartanian & McNamara, 2000; Anderson, Halter, Julnes, & Schuldt 2000) and on the importance of the direct intervention of welfare program managers to help clients find jobs (Livermore & Neustron, 2003; Wilson, Stoker, & McGrath, 1999). However, few have considered the Internet as a viable option for matching welfare clients to jobs. Internet job searching among former welfare recipients is comparable to Internet searching among unemployed workers in the general population (Crew and Lamothe, 2003; Kuhn & Skuterud, 2000, 2004). By tapping into the opportunities online, welfare recipients may be able to use the Internet as a bridge to stable, high quality employment.

Data and Sampling

Drawing from telephone survey data and administrative records on former welfare recipients in Florida, we provide the first empirical test of the extent to which Internet job searching results in the receipt of better jobs than traditional search methods. The sample was randomly selected from a list (provided by Florida's Department of Children and Families) of people who had been on welfare but did not receive a Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) check for two consecutive months at some point between January and September of 2001. The sample consisted mostly of women (about 90 percent).

Florida State University's Survey Research Laboratory (SRL) conducted the interviews between April and July of 2003. Among eligible respondents that the SRL was able to contact, almost half completed the survey (cooperation rate COOP1 = 48%, AAPOR, 2004).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Welfare to Web to Work: Internet Job Searching among Former Welfare Clients in Florida
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.