AIAS Lunch Seminar 13 januari - Peter Donker van Heel - ECORYS Rotterdam

Methods to measure job vacancies


The central problem definition of the research is: Which methods are best suited to measure job vacancies? The answer to this question naturally started with a study of the available literature. Apart from this there have been talks with hundreds of job vacancy information users, while observations were made at scores of policy-oriented institutions and labour market intermediaries. Also, the underlying policy documentation has been investigated by this author during the past twenty-five years.

New knowledge is also being gained at the international level in the development process of the European Vacancy Monitor (JVM) of the European Commission. This project aims to trace and open up all possible sources of job vacancy information in thirty countries, including surveys, public employment services registrations, temporary work agencies and online recruitment services statistics, and sources such as the Job Vacancy Statistics and the Labour Force Survey of Eurostat, data from Monsterboard, Manpower, Randstad, etc. A number of important US sources was also investigated (to be specific: the Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey, JOLTS).

The research also included the development of a measuring methods typology, including an assessment framework, leading to eight different types of measuring methods. The assessment of the measuring methods focused on the information requirements of the various users of job vacancy information. It turned out that the need for flow figures is important, but so is the level of detail. Also, the figures have to be up to date.

In a separate study the most common empirical definitions of job vacancies were addressed. If we look at content, there are at least three commonly used different definitions, meaning that one needs to investigate to what extent the different measuring methods lead to results that meet the requirements of these definitions. Other important criteria for the assessment of the measuring methods are the quality of the results and measurement cost.

The conclusion is that we are indeed able to obtain a continuous picture of the total number of filled job vacancies through a national registration database linking all employees and companies. One suspects that such a database does not exist anywhere, meaning that some alternative is needed. In any case, a representative picture of the job vacancy characteristics that are relevant for the labour market requires a company survey or household survey. The job vacancy information coming from labour market intermediaries such as online recruitment services is mainly useful to assess the operational performance of these intermediaries themselves. However, this information is rather selective, meaning that it is not very suitable to act as a basis for national, sectoral and regional labour market policies.

The presenter

Peter Donker van Heel, Methods to measure job vacancies, ECORYS, Rotterdam, January 2011. This study forms part of a current PhD research project.

Dag: Donderdag 13 januari
Tijd: 12.15 – 13.15 uur.
Locatie: AIAS, 3e verdieping gebouw M, Plantage Muidergracht 12
Inschrijven: Stuur ons een e-mail vóór dinsdag 11 januari 12.00.
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