Networks and Labor Markets

Social networks represent a fundamental source for entry visas into labor markets. The relation between social networks and labor markets draws attention to the differences among workers in their use of available information outlets. While formal sources of information about job vacancies in labor markets include public and private employment agencies, newspaper advertisements, union hiring halls, school and college placement services, and the Internet, informal sources include referrals from employees and employers, direct job seekers’ inquiries, and indirect inquiries through social connections. Some 50 to 60 percent of jobs are obtained through social networks. Mark S. Granovetter gives evidence of the importance of weak ties in this process. He empirically (on the basis of interviews with 54 subjects) shows that 16.7 percent found their jobs ...

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