Researchers at the Survey Research Institute at Cornell, in collaboration with Princeton University and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, are currently conducting a survey of unemployed workers in New Jersey.

Participants in the study are asked to complete a baseline survey and then a short online interview each week for a period of 12 weeks. The weekly online interview includes questions related to job search activities and job offers, as well as a time use diary in which respondents recount how they spent their time the previous day.

Existing time use studies focus on the general population and usually provide only a snapshot of one or two days of a person's life. This study is unique in that it attempts to follow unemployed workers over the duration of their unemployment.

The data collected from the weekly follow-up interviews will allow researchers to tackle new and interesting questions -- in particular, the researchers will examine how the job search strategies and the time spent on job search activities changes as the workers remain unemployed.

The week-by-week nature of the survey also promises a better understanding of which job search methods are most effective in finding employment.

The project is funded by the Industrial Relations Section at Princeton.