As of Wednesday (October 15), Craigslist will begin charging $25 for job postings in 8 new cities: Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami (South Florida), Philadelphia, and Phoenix. The company previously has charged for job ads in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, NYC, Orange County, Portland, Sacramento, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington DC.
Details are here, along with Craigslist user commentary on the move. Predictably, there’s plenty of outcry mixed with support for the move, which is designed to rid the jobs area of those Craigslist sites of scammers, spammers, and abuse.
As always, Craigslist portrays the move as designed to improve the quality of the service, not to make more money for itself. As explained in the note to users: “We have received a lot of feedback over the last couple months, which has generally run in favor of a $25 per ad fee for posting jobs in these eight cities.”
The fee applies only to job postings, while the “Gigs” categories will remain free; those are for posting “smaller projects, odd jobs, low budget film gigs, openings for personal attendants, etc.”
For newspapers and other classifieds publishers in those 8 new cities, this probably means more downward price pressure on paid recruitment ads. When a city’s Craigslist job listings have been filled with lots of junk, a newspaper can tout the quality of the recruitment-advertising experience and (perhaps) get away with charging higher fees. With an improved Craigslist job section, publishers in those 8 cities now need to re-evaluate their pricing if they expect to be competitive.