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Covid-19 and jobs: Which skills make a difference?

European countries implemented strict and far reaching lockdowns to slow down the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) and to save citizens’ lives. These measures impacted societies, workers and businesses on an unprecedented scale. Entire industries were temporarily shut down and although the countries have started to gradually ease these restrictions, early return to life and work as we knew it is unlikely. Businesses in accommodation and food service, sport and cultural industries, retail and many other areas depending on traveling, gatherings of people and personal interaction expect a very tough period ahead. Europe still waits for up-to-date data to assess the real labour market impact of travel restrictions and social distancing measures, although some early information on rising unemployment and falling search for jobs is already available. It will get worse as millions of people who rely on temporary summer work in accommodation and food service will find employment opportunities to be scarce. Without actual data on the labour market impact of Covid-19, most of the current research focuses on assessment of the potential risk of the pandemic for jobs and individuals. Using detailed skills information available in Europe as revealed by employers’ demands in online job advertisements, we explore what it can tell us about risk or resilience of occupations to social distancing measures.