The CSR Newsletters are a freely-available resource generated as a dynamic complement to the textbook, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.

To sign-up to receive the CSR Newsletters regularly during the fall and spring academic semesters, e-mail author David Chandler at

Monday, March 31, 2014

Strategic CSR - Facebook

The article in the url below is an interesting commentary on the extent to which social media are encroaching upon our lives (or enabling our lives, I guess, depending on your perspective):
“Some companies and industries do especially well in tough times: Discounters, health-care providers, fast-food chains, Facebook. That’s right, Facebook. The unemployment rate is more correlated with Google searches for ‘facebook’ than with any other search term.”
The data for the article were generated by Google Correlate (, a service that allows you to enter search terms and see what other search terms are correlated. It also, apparently, allows you to upload your own dataset and see what Google search terms are correlated with it:
“We uploaded actual unemployment rate data to see what search patterns correlate most closely, and Facebook searches dominate. Higher unemployment translates to more Facebook searches, and lower unemployment means fewer Facebook searches. They are so closely tied to unemployment, they outnumber searches involving actual unemployment-related topics.”
I think the title of the article has its causal relationship backwards (I am pretty sure unemployment results in more Facebook searches, not the other way around!), but the relationship is strong. See the graphic that accompanies the article to see just how strong:
While it may not be very surprising to learn that unemployed people spend more time surfing the Internet; as the article notes, it is surprising that Facebook is the most immediate beneficiary—unless, of course, people are using Facebook to help themselves find jobs:
“It seems reasonable that more unemployed people suggests more time spent surfing the Web, whether to kill time or to connect with anyone and everyone who might help them find a job, but it’s still surprising that Facebook is far and away the most correlated search—far more than ‘unemployment,’ ‘résumé,’ or ‘work.’”
Take care
David Chandler & Bill Werther
Instructor Teaching and Student Study Site:
Strategic CSR Simulation:
The library of CSR Newsletters are archived at:
When Searches for Facebook Spike, So Does Unemployment
By Eric Chemi
January 9, 2014
Bloomberg Businessweek