Search engine shows hope in job market

July 20, 2009 8:51:46 AM PDT
A young Silicon Valley company is growing even in the midst of record unemployment. It's a job search engine whose mission is to simplify people's efforts to find work.

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Even with the state's unemployment rate at 11.6 percent, and the newest Bay Area jobless numbers ticking upward -- there are glimmerings of improvement.

"In spite of the layoffs, a lot of the great companies in the Bay Area are hiring -- companies like Apple, companies like Sutter Health, companies like Google and Yahoo!," said Dion Lim, president SimplyHired.com.

Dion Lim can see the job listings coming in first-hand, he helms SimplyHired.com -- a Mountain View based search engine company that for the past four years has been busy building the world's largest online database of jobs. It's free and available in 13 countries so far.

"One of the most important decisions that people make in their lives is finding a job. Next to finding a spouse and finding a house, it's probably the most important decision you make over and over again," said Lim.

Although the nation has record unemployment and we're still in the midst of an economic recession, there really are jobs out there. Simply Hired has 3 million listings in the U.S. and shows more than 67,000 jobs in the Bay Area.

What sets Simply Hired aside from a multitude of others online is the opportunity to do one-stop searching. It lists jobs from thousands of sources like newspapers, government sites, directly from employers, and so on. It also offers tools to research salaries, localize your job search, and whittle it all down with specialized filters.

"If you're looking for an eco-friendly company, we have green-friendly companies; if you want to bring your dog to work, we have dog-friendly companies," said Lim.

Simply Hired also tracks employment trends.

"We did a little bit of analysis based on the recession and we saw that in San Francisco, since last November, jobs have been down about 35 percent in San Francisco. In fact, throughout the Bay Area, it's down anywhere between 20 and 40 percent," said Lim.

But Lim believes job opportunities will increase over the next couple of years with the federal government's $787 billion economic stimulus plan. For example, the Department of Energy is giving $3 billion in grants, which is expected to create more work in clean-tech industries, like solar and wind power, energy-efficient vehicles and building retrofitting.

"I think you know the whole green-collar jobs phenomenon is critical to this economic recovery," said Lim.

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