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Markets for jobs and their task overlap

Maarten Goos, Emilie Rademakers, Anna Salomons and Bert Willekens

Labour Economics, 2019, vol. 61, issue C

Abstract: We show that tightness in markets for jobs for which an unemployed job seeker fully qualifies in terms of her task competencies is predictive of her unemployment duration. This suggests that the labour market is organized along jobs and their task content. We also find that unemployed job seekers do not compete in markets where they possess only part of the required task competencies, suggesting that task overlap across jobs is unimportant for worker mobility between job markets. This implies that adverse task-biased shocks are likely to have pronounced distributional consequences across workers with different task competencies. To illustrate this, we quantify the impact of technological progress that automates routine tasks, showing that this imposes substantial adjustment costs that are highly unevenly distributed across unemployed job seekers with routine versus non-routine task competencies.

Keywords: Job search; Markets for jobs; Task competencies; Task overlap between job markets; Winners and losers from automation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 J62 J64 O33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2019.101750

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