Discussion paper

DP9093 Mismatch Unemployment

We develop a framework where mismatch between vacancies and job seekers across sectors translates into higher unemployment by lowering the aggregate job-finding rate. We use this framework to measure the contribution of mismatch to the recent rise in U.S. unemployment by exploiting two sources of cross-sectional data on vacancies, JOLTS and HWOL, a new database covering the universe of onlineU.S. job advertisements. Mismatch across industries and occupations explains at most 1/3 of the total observed increase in the unemployment rate, whereas geographical mismatch plays no apparent role. The share of the rise in unemployment explained by occupational mismatch is increasing in the education level.


Violante, G, G Topa and A Sahin (2012), ‘DP9093 Mismatch Unemployment‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 9093. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp9093