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A method for measuring detailed demand for workers' competences


  • Pater, Robert
  • Szkola, Jaroslaw
  • Kozak, Marcin


There is an increasing need for analysing the demand for skills in the labour market. While most studies aggregate skills in groups or use available proxies for them, the authors analyse the demand by employers for individual competences. Such an analysis better reflects reality because companies usually require job candidates to have particular competences, rather than generally defined groups of skills. However, no method exists to analyse on a large scale which competences are required by employers. At a detailed level, there are hundreds of competences; thus, this demand cannot be measured in a sample survey. The authors propose a method for conducting a continuous and efficient analysis of the demand for competences of prospective employees. The method involves collecting online job offers and analysing them with data mining and text analysis tools. The authors use this method to analyse transversal competences in the Polish labour market. Their findings indicate that companies typically required only certain competences-especially 'language and communication competences'-while neglecting others. The number of job candidate requirements was counter-cyclical. However, the structure of the competences demanded did not change during the analysed period.

Suggested Citation

  • Pater, Robert & Szkola, Jaroslaw & Kozak, Marcin, 2019. "A method for measuring detailed demand for workers' competences," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 13, pages 1-30.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:201927

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Deming & Lisa B. Kahn, 2018. "Skill Requirements across Firms and Labor Markets: Evidence from Job Postings for Professionals," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S1), pages 337-369.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maciej Berk{e}sewicz & Greta Bia{l}kowska & Krzysztof Marcinkowski & Magdalena Ma'slak & Piotr Opiela & Robert Pater & Katarzyna Zadroga, 2019. "Enhancing the Demand for Labour survey by including skills from online job advertisements using model-assisted calibration," Papers 1908.06731,

    More about this item


    online data; skill demand; text analysis; vacancy market; worker competence; worker competency;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs


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