The importance of measuring skills imbalances
The demand for skills in the labour market is undergoing a substantial change as a result of technological progress, globalisation and population ageing. At the same time, developments such as increased labour market participation of women and greater migration flows have altered the supply of skills. In light of these changes, it is increasingly important to ensure that the skills of each country’s workforce are well matched to the skill needs of its labour market. Skills imbalances, such as shortages, surpluses and mismatch, can result in poorer labour market outcomes for individuals, weak firm performance and lower aggregate demand.
OECD Skills for Jobs Indicators: Measuring skills imbalances
The OECD Skills for Jobs Database provides timely information for European countries and South Africa about skills shortages and surpluses, as well as data on qualification and field-of-study mismatch. The database provides information on a wide range of skills, including cognitive skill, social skills, physical skills and a set of knowledge types.
How to use the Skills for Jobs web tool
Select a country to discover its skill demands and imbalances
- Skill Needs Networks: Each bubble in the skill needs networks represents a skill. The colour of the bubble shows whether the specific skill is in surplus or shortage in the selected country, and its size reflects the degree of skill need. Mouse over a bubble to see what skill it represents, and to discover the occupations that contribute most to the imbalance. Click on a bubble to expand it to more disaggregate skills.
- Adult Learning and Training Profiles: Want to know how to move from an occupation in surplus to one in shortage? Select your occupation to see how it differs in terms of skills requirements from an occupation that is in ‘high-demand’, and explore the skills that you need to strengthen to switch to that occupation.