If you think about it, LinkedIn is a natural beneficiary from massive layoffs. Upon being laid off, here are some user activities LinkedIn might not see otherwise:
- Status updates to let others know about layoff
- Recommendation requests to co-workers
- Recommendations for co-workers
- Profile updates and employment history updates
- Status updates about job seeking
- LinkedIn personal network job searches
- Contact info lookups to find names & phone numbers to fill out unemployment benefits job search logs
- Network inbox emails to ask for help with employment
Outside the unemployment-related activities I list above, there are, of course, many other activities that you might see even in healthy job markets like looking up potential bosses, researching organizations, growing network, Q&A activity, etc.
LINKEDIN UNEMPLOYMENT CORRELATIONS
The numbers don’t lie: LinkedIn certainly benefits from this increase in activity and the activity is well-documented. In terms of pageviews, LinkedIn went from 272 million pageviews in March ’08 to 872 million pageviews in March ’09 (252% growth according to Compete.com data).
Not only does an increase of unemployment catapult activity (as measured by pageviews), it also greatly benefits reach (as measured by uniques). Check the graph below that I created that shows LinkedIn uniques visitor growth and the unemployment rate for the past two years: