Google announced its Jobs search vertical last month at its I/O developer conference, but it’s now actually launched the feature live for users (this is a good example of how launch announcements are often vague or completely silent on the point of timing, and it’s always worth checking that detail). The search feature works pretty much as you would imagine, for now at least merely aggregating search listings on existing big job search sites, though there’s no guarantee Google won’t eventually seek to disintermediate the legacy players and do more of the heavy lifting itself. After all, if users are already coming to Google for search results, why not encourage employers to list directly on Google over time? It’s also worth noting that Google has been reported to be working on a recruitment service for companies, for now decoupled from the Google search engine, but clearly a potential fit with it in time.
Google Launches Vertical Jobs Search Feature (May 17, 2017)
Facebook has one of the biggest global audiences – perhaps the biggest – of any technology company, and it seems constantly tempted to try to leverage that audience for more things, with the next on the list recruiting services a la LinkedIn. I’m hugely skeptical about this – it’s one thing to know that a potential employer might scour social media accounts, but quite another to serve up your personal account directly in the application. I just don’t think most applicants want their Facebook profile to be front and center in their job hunting. In addition, even in the unlikely event Facebook were to match LinkedIn’s scale in this business, that’s a half-billion-a-quarter business, or about a tenth of Facebook’s current revenues. In other words, this is unlikely to take off, and even if it does, it won’t make a huge difference to Facebook’s business.
via USA Today
Amazon to Create More Than 100,000 New Jobs across the U.S. over the Next 18 Months – Amazon press release (Jan 12, 2017)
This is just the latest in a series of announcements from major tech companies (not to mention car companies and others) about job creation in the US in the run-up to the inauguration of Donald Trump as US President in a week’s time. It’s worth putting the numbers in context a bit – 100k new jobs in the US in 18 months compares to around 135k new jobs created globally over the last 18 months. 180k US employees at the end of 2016 would be 57% of my estimate of 315k jobs globally, so 100k new US jobs suggests only a slightly higher run rate and ratio of US to global jobs to the past 18 months. As with a lot of the announcements we’ve seen lately, this seems mostly about highlighting existing job creation plans rather than some new direction.
Big Growth in Tiny Businesses – WSJ (Dec 28, 2016)
Online retail is creating opportunities for new kinds of businesses – very small ones, often with a single employee who’s also the owner, across all kinds of fields, including food, manufacturing, and chemicals (including soap and perfume).
Part of Uber’s PR push to counter the narrative that’s developed about its antipathy towards regulation is this kind of stuff, designed to showcase the positive impact Uber has on local economies. This Uber blog post cites a Boston Consulting Group study, and highlights the positive contribution made by Uber and other transportation platforms. Apple has successfully used a similar strategy – citing app developer jobs, for example – in arguing for its own positive economic impact.