DP14748 Job Search during the COVID-19 Crisis

Author(s): Lena Hensvik, Thomas Le Barbanchon, Roland Rathelot
Publication Date: May 2020
Date Revised: November 2020
Keyword(s): Coronavirus, job vacancies, labour demand shock, online job board, search direction, Search Intensity
JEL(s): E24, J21, J22, J23, J62, J63, J64
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14748

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.