By Julianne Pepitone
NEW YORK -- Watch out, LinkedIn. Facebook is jumping into the job search space, with a job search app that includes listings from services like Monster and BranchOut. The Social Jobs App, which launched Wednesday, currently includes 1.7 million job listings. It's part of the Social Jobs Partnership initiative, which Facebook formed in October 2011 in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor and three nonprofit labor organizations.
Facebook's press release cited the flagging economy as the inspiration for the job search app.
"When it comes to economic growth, few issues are more important than matching qualified candidates with great jobs. In that spirit, we know that the power of social media -- the connections between friends, family and community -- can have an outsized impact on finding jobs," Facebook wrote.
Earlier this month, the Labor Department's monthly jobs report showed that the economy added 171,000 jobs in October. But the unemployment rate inched up to 7.9 percent, from 7.8 percent in September.
At launch, the Social Jobs App includes job listings from Monster, BranchOut, DirectEmployers Association, Work4Labs and Jobvite. Job seekers can search for positions based on industry, keywords and location. There's also a special filter for veteran-friendly jobs.
Facebook touted its own ability to help in the recruiting field: About half of employers "are using Facebook in their hiring process," according to Social Jobs Partnership research, and 54 percent of those polled said that they expect the social network will become a more important part of hiring in the future.
The Social Jobs App marks a shift for Facebook, which has historically focused on personal networking. LinkedIn has positioned itself as the king of professional networking, but if the Social Jobs App takes off, Facebook could become a more direct competitor.
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