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The Youth Unemployment Rate in the US started creeping back up in early 2014, going from 14.2% in January 2014 to 14.4% in February, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Youth Unemployment is as a rule higher than adult unemployment, and has averaged 12.31% over the period from 1955 to 2014.

From 2000 to 2011, employment prospects for teenagers and young adults in the 100 largest metro areas in the US nosedived. Though all young people were affected by the recession, some demographics did better than others. Overall, it has not been a good period to be a young person looking for a job.

A new website called Youthire.com out of Glenwood, New York, aiming to match local teens and young adults with odd job employment (household work, dog walking, babysitting, yard work, etc.), wants to help young people find local opportunities to earn money and gain experience that could help them land regular work. Could this be the start of a new breed of niche job boards? Could Youthire give clues as to how you can use custom job boards on your news or trade publication website more effectively?

Niche Targets Age and Location

Youthire.com targets informal employers and job seekers by both age and location. Though the site is new and hasn't posted jobs yet, listings will be sorted by city name or zip code, and all are aimed at people aged 16 to 26. According to the site, "This is the niche we seek to serve: a community-based exchange of services built upon a foundation of reliability and trust." The goal of the site is to "provide everyday, essential odd-jobs to local students by local homeowners."

Unlike traditional job boards, those hiring through Youthire don't pay for listings, and those seeking jobs don't pay to search. Payment will be made via Popmoney.com once a job is completed, and Youthire takes a 15% commission. Whether Youthire becomes successful remains to be seen, but its presence acknowledges the desire for employers to target applicants closely, and for applicants to target employers.

What Niche Job Boards Offer

Niche job boards may cater to an industry or a location, and they cut out the irrelevant jobs and applicants that people deal with when either listing on or seeking employment on general job boards. Niche job boards are not only great for those in a particular industry to find relevant job listings, they're valuable for passive job seekers who want to take the pulse of their industry and perhaps see if there are any plum opportunities available that could temp them away from their current position. They often go alongside other website features like blogs, job advice guides, and how-tos for preparing resumes and preparing for interviews.

Related:  What is the Average Time to Hire by Industry? 

Specializing by Field Is Often Most Effective

While you could, for example, create a niche job board that's friendly to older workers (like simplyhired50.com), this type of niche tends to be less effective than a targeted job board based on industry or occupation. And while there are job boards that are designated as "age friendly," it's illegal under the 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) for employers, employment agencies, and the federal government to discriminate against applicants age 40 or older except in very specific instances (such as a television production hiring someone of a certain age to fulfill a specific character role).

Mostly, however, age groups are remarkably diverse, and because of the ADEA, companies can't advertise for a specific age group, so niche job boards of this type may be little better than generalist job boards.

Targeted job boards based on particular fields or professions are often more effective. For one thing, they may include exclusive listings that don't show up in other places. And job seekers like them because they can be more confident their resume won't disappear in a flurry of thousands of others. And if you're an employer, niche job boards offer relief from the flood of marginally qualified (or wholly unqualified) applications that come through generalist job boards.

Other Ways to Make Your Job Board Fill a Niche

But profession isn't the only way to make your website's job board targeted and appealing to both employers and job seekers. Local news websites can find success in creating job boards that are targeted exclusively to local jobs. This can be a huge plus to employers moving into a particular area and looking to hire locally, and they're great for job seekers who aren't willing or able to relocate.

Custom job boards can be an important part of your trade publication or news website's monetization plan. Successful job boards tend to be those that don't try to be everything to everyone, but rather target a specific industry, profession, or local geographic area.

Your Guide to Job Board Success

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