Jobs, taxes, and travel captured the interest of U.S. Internet surfers in January, marking double-digit to triple-digit gains over the previous month, according to a ComScore report released Thursday.
The number of unique visitors heading to tax sites climbed 176 percent to 24,703 in January, as users geared up for the upcoming tax season, according to ComScore.
Travel sites, meanwhile, posted a 46 percent increase to 13,028 visitors last month, as users took advantage of falling fuel prices and a desire to plan ahead for their vacations, while job search sites climbed 42 percent to 26,702 visitors, in January.
With unemployment running at 7.6 percent nationwide in January and Americans across all industries concerned about their job security, it's not surprising job-related sites are gaining an increase.
According to a January ComScore survey, U.S. residents earning less than $50,000 have had the highest unemployment rate, while those earning $50,000 up to $100,000 are extremely concerned with losing their jobs.
That type of concern may not bode well for giving a kick-start to e-commerce spending, noted Gian Fulgoni, ComScore's executive chairman, during a press conference Thursday to discuss the January e-commerce results.
The middle-class, for example, accounts for 46 percent of online retail spending, while the upper-class represents 34 percent, he noted.
And although these two groups posted a 2 percent and 8 percent increase in January year-over-year retail e-commerce spending, respectively, this type of concern over job security could lead to belt-tightening down the line, he noted.
During January, U.S. retail e-commerce spending rose 2 percent over the previous year, according to ComScore.
E-commerce spending on sports and fitness rose 42 percent in January over the previous year, while books and magazines captured a 37 percent increase and home, garden, and furniture climbed 14 percent, the report noted.