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Downskilling: changes in employer skill requirements over the business cycle
Using a novel database of 82.5 million online job postings, we show that employer skill requirements fell as the labor market improved from 2010 to 2014. We find that a 1 percentage point reduction in the local unemployment rate is associated with a roughly 0.27 percentage point reduction in the fraction of jobs requiring at least a bachelor?s degree and a roughly 0.23 percentage point reduction in the fraction requiring five or more years of experience. This pattern is established using multiple measures of labor availability, is bolstered by similar trends along heretofore unmeasured ...
Upskilling: do employers demand greater skill when skilled workers are plentiful?
The Great Recession and subsequent recovery have been particularly painful for low-skilled workers. From 2007 to 2012, the unemployment rate rose by 6.4 percentage points for noncollege workers while it rose by only 2.3 percentage points for the college educated. This differential impact was evident within occupations as well. One explanation for the differential impact may be the ability of highly skilled workers to take middle- and low-skilled jobs. Indeed, over this period the share of workers with a college degree in traditionally middle-skill occupations increased rapidly. Such growth in ...
No Longer Qualified? Changes in the Supply and Demand for Skills within Occupations
Using a novel database of 159 million online job postings, we examine changes in employer skill requirements for education and specific skillsets between 2007 and 2017. We find that upskilling—in terms of increasing demands for bachelor’s degrees as well as software skills—was a persistent trend among high-skill occupations, but either a temporary or non-existent phenomenon among middle-skill and low-skill occupations. We also find evidence that persistentupskilling in the high-skill sector contributed to greater occupational mismatch that remained elevated during the recovery from the ...