The Job Hunt: Volunteering numbers flat in U.S.

With more people being unemployed, you'd think more would be volunteering. After all, with all that free time, and the fact that the volunteer work would look good on a resume and might lead to a job, volunteering is a good way to spend some of those extra hours.

While an astonishing 26.4% of the U.S. population, or 61.8 million people, volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2007 and September 20008, the numbers remained essentially unchanged from the prior year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The most common activities they performed were fund raising, and tutoring or teaching. A median number of hours spent volunteering was 52 hours during the year.

As unemployment has risen, volunteering in America has remained the same. The latest national unemployment figures show a 7.2% unemployment rate in December 2008, up from 4.9% a year ago.