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Discussion Papers

Using Web Data to Measure the Demand for Skills

No.21

Using Web Data to Measure the Demand for Skills

Authors: Tijdens, K. and Fabo, B.
Published: March 2014
Keywords: C83
JEL classification: Web data; skills; survey methodology; occupations; tasks

Abstract:

In the post-Fordist economy, a skilled workforce is crucial for maintaining competitiveness in the global economy. Nevertheless, how to measure the demand for skills remains a puzzle. The main issue discussed in this paper is how can online based surveys serve researchers and policy makers as a tool for determining the demand for skills on the labour market. The paper begins by an overview of the literature to make a case for the importance of measuring skills for the public policy. Following the introductory part, different approaches to measuring demand for skills are evaluated. Special attention is paid to the role of the Internet as a source of the relevant data. Measurement of frequency in which various tasks are being performed is proposed as an indicator for measuring skills associated with the specific occupation. The paper closes by a demonstration of the practical implementation of the questions measuring frequency of performance of different tasks in more than 400 occupations in the environment of the global WageIndicator survey.

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