This project aims at studying changes in labor demand during the corona crisis and beyond. The first part of the project starts out by tracking changes in job vacancy postings based on data from The Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV). We compare the developments in labor demand for different occupations, in different regions and industries in 2020 with the same months from 2018 and 2019. In addition to mapping the general picture for the development in job vacancies in during the first half year of the pandemic, we will have a particular focus on vacancies in occupations that are important for young workers, and on training and qualification requirements of the new jobs. We will move on to investigate the impact on the changes in job vacancies for inequality and polarization in the labour market. At the same time we will collect and process data on job vacancies, hires, separations and job growth. The next step will be to follow vacancies into the second half of the first year of the pandemic, also with an eye on potential spillovers from the immediately affected jobs and industries to the rest of the economy, and to and start analyzing in detail the effects on different types of firms.
The project consists of three work packages:
In the first work package, we start out by tracking changes in job vacancy postings, hires, separations and job growth following the outbreak of COVID 19. We compare the trajectories from 2020, to pre-crisis observations from the same months from 2018 and 2019, by occupations, industries, and regions. These analyses will be in “real-time” drawing monthly data at half- or yearly intervals from the fall of 2020. We follow both online job vacancy postings, hires, separations and job growth. The focus in the initial phase will be to study the development of occupations, industries, and regions that are most likely to be affected by the political measures and behavioral responses by individuals and firms, with characteristics such as direct human contact, travel and transport dependency, conditions for home- and teleworking etc. In the next phase it will be important to identify spillover effects to other industries and occupations, and the responses to new challenges in the aftermath of the pandemic, such as likely drops in domestic and international demands, broken international value chains, a decline in oil prices, a possible financial crisis, that again are likely to change the trajectories of labor demand.
In the second work package, we add data on labor productivity of firms, and analyse how the crisis impacts productivity growth, job reallocation, inequality, and polarization in the labor market. We depart from underlying trends in productivity and changes in relative demand for different types of labor, and study the extent to which these trends are magnified or ameliorated during the different phases of the downturn.
The third work package is comparative. We use nearly real-time data on job postings in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the US, coupled with nearly real-time data on new hires, new separations and net job growth, we will map labor demand from January 2020, into the crisis and onward.