Competition in urban hiring markets: evidence from online job advertisements — 2021 edition

Report by Eurostat

This paper provides the first Europe-wide evidence on competition among firms in urban hiring markets. It calculates a labour market concentration indicator (Herfindahl-Hirschman Index) by occupation for every functional urban area (FUA) of the 27 EU Member States, using over 100 million Online Job Advertisements (OJAs) collected from hundreds of job portals in 2019-2020.

The results show that across urban areas, hiring market concentration is associated with migration patterns and employment prospects. It tends to be low in large urban areas in Europe (e.g. Berlin, Milan, Paris), indicating a robust degree of competition among employers and more choice for job-seekers across all occupations.

In contrast, urban labour markets are thinner all along the southern and eastern periphery of the European Union, particularly in smaller towns. An increase in hiring market concentration across European countries is observed in the second quarter of 2020, when the pandemic crisis hit Europe stronger.

These are the first experimental results using OJAs available at Eurostat thanks to the collaboration with the European Centre for Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) and with European National Statistical Institutes. The data and methodology used in this paper are still in an experimental phase, and some potential improvements are discussed in the paper.

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