Mismatch in Online Job Search

February 2020

Tara M. Sinclair and Martha E. Gimbel

IIEP working paper 2020-1

Abstract: Labor market mismatch is an important measure of the health of the economy but is notoriously hard to measure since it requires information on both employer needs and job seeker characteristics. In this paper we use data from a large online job search website which has detailed information on both sides of the labor market. Mismatch is measured as the dissimilarity between the distribution of job seekers across a set of predefined categories and the distribution of job vacancies across the same categories. We produce time series measures of mismatch for the US and a set of English-speaking countries from January of 2014 through December of 2019. We find that title-level mismatch is substantial, with about 33% of the labor force needing to change job titles for the US to have zero mismatch in 2019, but that it declined from 40% in 2014 as the labor market has tightened. Furthermore, over the same time period, the mix of job opportunities has shifted substantially, but in a way that has made the overall distribution of jobs more similar to the distribution of job seekers. We interpret this finding as evidence that mismatch between job seekers and employers eased due to jobs coming back in the slow recovery after the Great Recession.

JEL Codes: E24, J11, J21, J24, J40, J62

Keywords: Job search, vacancies, employment, unemployment

Do Fed Forecast Errors Matter?

August 2018

Tara Sinclair, Pao-Lin Tien, & Edward N. Gamber 

IIEP Working Paper 2016-14

Abstract: In order to make forward-looking policy decisions, the Fed relies on imperfect forecasts of future macroeconomic conditions. If the Fed’s forecasts are rational, then the difference between the actual outcome and the Fed’s forecast can be treated as an exogenous shock. We investigate the effect of the Fed’s forecast errors on output and price movements under the assumption that the Fed intends to implement policy through a forward-looking Taylor rule with perfect foresight. Our results suggest that although the absolute magnitude of the Fed’s forecast error shock is large, the impact of the shock on the macroeconomy is reassuringly small.

Keywords: Federal Reserve, Taylor rule, forecast evaluation, monetary policy shocks

JEL Classification: E32; E31; E52; E58

Migration and Online Job Search: A Gravity Model Approach

April 2018

Tara Sinclair and Mariano Mamertino

IIEP Working Paper 2018-3

Abstract: Most studies of migration focus on realized migration. Data on realized migration take substantial time to collect and are available to researchers and policymakers only at a significant delay. In this study we consider a new potential data source in the form of tracking the patterns of online job seekers actively searching for a job in a country other than their current home. The advance of internet job search allows job seekers to explore international employment options before making a decision to move. We characterize job seeker interest across national borders by looking at user behavior on a major job search website. We investigate the determinants of cross-border job search using a standard gravity model and find that both the determinants and the relative importance of the determinants for job search are strikingly similar to those for past realized migration. This suggests both that job seekers are likely to act on their international job search and that these data may be useful for predicting future migration patterns. We use our results to explore the labor market mobility implications of a country, such as the UK, leaving the EU and find that leaving the EU may have international immigration impacts similar to increasing the distance between the leaver and the other EU countries by over one third.

JEL Codes: J6, J4, F22, O15

Keywords: international migration, labor mobility, online labor markets, European Union, Brexit

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