Job search during the covid-19 crisis

Published: 19 January 2021
Author: Lena Hensvik, And Thomas Le Barbanchon, And Roland Rathelot, And

This paper measures the job-search responses to the COVID-19 pandemic using realtime data on vacancy postings and job ad views on Sweden’s largest online job board. First, new vacancy postings drop by 40%, similar to the US. Second, job seekers respond by searching less intensively, to the extent that effective labour market tightness increases during the first three months after the COVID outbreak. Third, they redirect their search towards less severely hit occupations, beyond what changes in vacancies would predict. Overall, these job search responses have the potential to amplify the labour demand shock.

Keywords: coronavirus, search intensity, search direction, labour demand shock, job vacancies, online job board
JEL Codes: J22, J23, J21, J62, J63, J64, E24


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