Measuring and Tackling Mismatches
Labour Markets and Employment Policy series
Edited by Michael Neugart and Klaus Schömann
Chapter 10: Projecting Labour Market Developments in Spain through 2010: From Massive Unemployment to Skill Gaps and Labour Shortages?
10. Projecting labour market developments in Spain through 2010: from massive unemployment to skill gaps and labour shortages? Ferran Mañé and Josep Oliver-Alonso 1 INTRODUCTION It is quite obvious that our economies are currently experiencing a great deal of structural change. A very fast pace of technological change and an unstoppable process of globalization are creating a very competitive environment in which ﬁrms must come up with new products and produce them eﬃciently. It has been argued that these changes are decisively aﬀecting the kind of skills the workforce must bring to the labour market. Basically, most research studies conclude that workers have to upgrade their qualiﬁcations in order to command high wages or even to avoid becoming unemployed (OECD, 1996). In our future knowledge societies, those who lack strong analytical and information technology skills will fall behind and face problems leading to a minimum level of income. Alternatively, some research points to potential problems of overeducation (Borghans and Grip, 2000). The argument is that the supply of highly skilled workers is outpacing their demand. The consequence is that we ﬁnd workers in jobs where a lower level of education or experience would be adequate. In fact, it is too often taken for granted that a vast majority of ﬁrms are engaged in producing high-tech products using a very complex production process. Whether or not technological change has some kind of skill bias is not a new topic on the agenda of social science researchers. We may,...
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