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A method for measuring detailed demand for workers’ competences

There is an increasing need for analysing the demand for skills in the labour market. While most studies aggregate skills in groups or use available proxies for them, the authors analyse the demand by employers for individual competences. Such an analysis better reflects reality because companies usually require job candidates to have particular competences, rather than generally defined groups of skills. However, no method exists to analyse on a large scale which competences are required by employers. At a detailed level, there are hundreds of competences; thus, this demand cannot be measured in a sample survey. The authors propose a method for conducting a continuous and efficient analysis of the demand for competences of prospective employees. The method involves collecting online job offers and analysing them with data mining and text analysis tools. The authors use this method to analyse transversal competences in the Polish labour market. Their findings indicate that companies typically required only certain competences-especially ‘language and communication competences’-while neglecting others. The number of job candidate requirements was counter-cyclical. However, the structure of the competences demanded did not change during the analysed period.