US Department of Labor teams with Facebook to help jobless people

The department said it will reach out to other social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn

Facebook, the U.S. Department of Labor, and some other organizations are partnering to help jobless people in the country find employment through social networks.

The department also plans to reach out to other social networks including Twitter and LinkedIn, said Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis at a conference Thursday that was also streamed from the Facebook office in Washington D.C.

The partnership plans to pursue a number of initiatives designed to take advantage of social networks in the job market, including developing systems where new job postings can be "delivered virally" through the Facebook site at no charge, according to a new "Social Jobs Partnership" page on Facebook.

Nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 103,000 in September, but the number of unemployed persons, at 14 million, was essentially unchanged in September, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said this month.

The partnership also plans to distribute educational materials about taking advantage of the social web to recruiters, government agencies and job seekers.

The other agencies that are involved in the program are nonprofit organizations including the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), DirectEmployers Association (DE), and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA).

Landing on the Facebook page can help Americans land a good job, Solis said. "We will reach out to other leaders in the social networking arena from Twitter to LinkedIn to the next big thing on the social media horizon," she added.

Even at a time of high unemployment, there are millions of unfilled job openings right now in the country, Solis said. " Did you know folks that there are about 3 million jobs that are out there right now ?", she asked.

Employers using social media to employ has doubled since 2008, said Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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John Ribeiro

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