Forecasting Labour Markets in OECD Countries

Forecasting Labour Markets in OECD Countries

Measuring and Tackling Mismatches

Labour Markets and Employment Policy series

Edited by Michael Neugart and Klaus Schömann

This book offers a wide-ranging overview of the state of labour market forecasting in selected OECD countries. Besides presenting forecasting models, the contributions provide an introduction to past experiences of forecasting, highlight the requirements for building appropriate data sets and present the most up-to-date forecasts available.

Chapter 10: Projecting Labour Market Developments in Spain through 2010: From Massive Unemployment to Skill Gaps and Labour Shortages?

Ferran Mañé and Josep Oliver-Alonso

Subjects: social policy and sociology, labour policy

Extract

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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