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updated 2/26/2009 9:13:18 AM ET 2009-02-26T14:13:18

As job losses mount amid the economic turmoil, more people are turning to career-development Web sites even if they are still employed, a new study finds.

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Nielsen Online was set to report Thursday it found a 20 percent increase in unique visitors to job-search and career-development sites in January — 49.7 million, compared with 41.5 million a year earlier. The unemployment rate was 7.6 percent last month, the highest in more than 16 years.

"People are worried about their jobs," said Chuck Schilling, Nielsen's research director for agency and media analytics. "(Even) if they are employed they are worried about it."

People 65 and over represent the fastest-growing group among visitors to job sites. Schilling said people are living longer and wishing to remain active — and also might be turning to the job market out of necessity.

"These are people that, perhaps, the technology explosion left behind and they are competing against people in their 20s who grew up in the information age and are seeking the same information-related jobs," he said.

Schilling said Web sites and advertisers could appeal to older job-seekers by providing content that is relevant to them.

CareerBuilder.com and Yahoo Inc.'s HotJobs site were the two most popular sites, followed by Monster Worldwide Inc.'s Monster.com. CareerBuilder.com is owned by Microsoft Corp. and newspaper publishers Gannett Co., McClatchy Co. and Tribune Co.

(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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