Thomas le Barbanchon, Bocconi University

"Job search behaviour during the COVID-19 crisis : New evidence from Sweden "


This paper measures the job-search responses to the COVID-19 pandemic using real-time data on vacancy postings and job ad views on Sweden’s largest online job board. First, new vacancy postings drop by 40%, similar to the US. Second, job seekers respond by searching less intensively, to the extent that effective labour market tightness increases during the first three months after the COVID outbreak. After the initial shock, labor market tightness increases again. Third, job seekers redirect their search towards less severely hit occupations, beyond what changes in vacancies would predict. We then build a search-and-matching model with endogenous search intensity to explore the mechanisms behind this labor market shift. We find that the negative productivity effect is temporary, while negative shifts on labor supply are more persistent.

Joint with Lena Hensvik (Uppsala) Roland Rathelot (Warwick)

Contact person: Daphne Skandalis