Searches related to the economy have increased dramatically in the past year, according to a comScore analysis. “Online behavior has come to reflect the interests or concerns of Americans, and we are certainly seeing this manifest itself with respect to the economic downturn,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “Search volume using terms relating to the economy has ballooned over the past year as Americans have become increasingly concerned over their economic well being.” OK, so the news isn’t surprising, but the numbers are still interesting. The fastest growing search term in comScore’s list is “Unemployment Benefits,” which grew 247 percent between December 2007 and December 2008. “Unemployment” grew 206 percent and bankruptcy 156 percent.

There were eight million searches for “unemployment” in December 2008, almost eight million each for “discount” and “mortgage,” and 2.5 millions searches for “bankruptcy”

There were almost 20 million searches for coupons, compared to only eight million a year before.

ComScore further studied the search term “unemployment,” to see what demographics were most actively using it. The most frequent searchers for the term were under 35 and made less than $50,000 a year. Interestingly, these searches were more often made with Yahoo!, MSN-Windows Live, or Search than Google or AOL search.

By Mark Alvarez