Global Skill Shortages
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Global Skill Shortages

Malcolm S. Cohen and Mahmood A. Zaidi

As the world entered the twenty-first century, global skill shortages in many occupations were evident throughout the world. While these were mitigated by a global recession, there is no generally agreed upon method for measuring these shortages. This book discusses various theories for measurement. Using data collected from 19 developed countries in North and Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific region, the authors explore various aspects of skilled labor shortages, develop a methodology of measuring shortages by occupation, and provide estimates of the likelihood of the occurrence of such shortages. They develop labor market indicators which measure the degree of shortage or surplus in different occupations.
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Chapter 5: Shortage Indicators by Occupation and Country

Malcolm S. Cohen and Mahmood A. Zaidi


5. Shortage indicators by occupation and countrv This chapter has three purposes. Firstly, it discusses the methodology of measuring skill shortages, the data employed and the results. Secondly, the anecdotal information in Chapter 4 is related to the indicators in this chapter. Thirdly, the internal consistency of the indicators developed in this chapter is analysed. Four indicators were used to measure labour shortages in the 19 countries studied. Not all four indicators were available in each country. The indicators were developed for up to 47 occupational groups. Not all groups could be obtained in each country. In some countries groups had to be W h e r aggregated because the detail was not available. The four indicators used were: average annual employment growth by occupation 1995-98, unemployment rate average 1996-98 by occupation, average annual wage change by occupation 1995-98, and the amount of time required to prepare for the occupation. In two countries, Australia and Sweden, data for the exact period could not be obtained, so data from 199798 in Sweden and 1997-99 in Australia were used. Ranks of 1 to 5 were assigned for each occupation in each country using the same criteria. A rank of 5 meant the labour market indicator was most favourable to the worker and most likely to indicate a labour shortage. For example, if employment grew an average of 4 per cent or more per year from 1995 to 1998 in an occupation in a country, a rank of 5 was assigned to this...

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