A new study shows that searches for the term “Facebook” rise with the unemployment rate, proving that discounters, health care providers, and fast food chains aren’t the only companies and industries doing better in tough times.
Google’s Correlate service is responsible for finding “search patterns with correspond with real-world trends” and Bloomberg was the site to find the connection. It will bring up a list, pie chart, and timeline of the US unemployment rate versus correlated Facebook searches.
Most of the searches include specific names, though it isn’t clear why. As Eric Chemi writes:
“It’s hard to say exactly what’s going on here. It seems reasonable that more unemployed people suggests more time spent surfing the Web, whether to kill time or to connect with anyone and everyone who might help them find a job, but it’s still surprising that Facebook is far and away the most correlated search—far more than ‘unemployment,’ ‘résumé,’ or ‘work.’ “
For what it’s worth, Correlate can be used for more than looking at Facebook and its connection with the unemployment rate. Users can also search for things like “football” and other terms to see their correlation with Google searches.