The demand for language skills in the European labour market

Evidence from online job vacancies

This paper investigates the demand for language skills using data on online job vacancies in 27 European Union member countries and the United Kingdom in 2021. Evidence indicates that although Europe remains a linguistically diverse labour market, knowing English confers unique advantages in certain occupations. Across countries included in the analyses, a knowledge of English was explicitly required in 22% of all vacancies and English was the sixth most required skill overall. A knowledge of German, Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese was explicitly demanded in between 1% and 2% of all vacancies. One in two positions advertised on line for managers or professionals required some knowledge of English, on average across European Union member countries and across OECD countries in the sample. This compares with only one in ten positions for skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers and among elementary occupations.

Available from June 14, 2023

In series:OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papersview more titles