Economic Letter: Clicks and jobs - measuring labour market tightness using online data

13 June 2019 Press Release

Mortgage Measures

  • Economic Letter, written by Central Bank of Ireland economist Reamonn Lydon and Indeed economist Pawel Adrjan, contains new research on the Irish labour market.
  • Researchers use new method to analyse online data on supply and demand, supplementing traditional data sources with ‘real-time’ insights.
  • Top 20 jobs facing potential labour supply shortages include roles in finance, healthcare and IT.

An Economic Letter, written collaboratively by Central Bank of Ireland economist Reamonn Lydon and Indeed economist Pawel Adrjan, has been published today and contains new research on the Irish labour market.

Data from online job searches can reveal which jobs are most in demand, and which areas are facing potential labour shortages. The paper’s authors have collaborated to discover what online data can reveal about the Irish labour market, and how its ‘real time’ insights can supplement traditional data sources.

Through analysing over 50,000 online job postings and searches on, the researchers examined the imbalance between the supply of workers and demand from employers for staff. The paper notes that record employment levels are putting upward pressure on wages and salaries.

The research develops a new measure of labour market tightness through analysing the number of clicks on a job posting. It found that advertised salaries are significantly higher in jobs that receive fewer clicks, as this indicates that the supply of potential workers is low. In addition, salary growth tends to be higher in occupations where the aggregate number of clicks is low relative to the total number of jobs.

Hiring difficulties are greatest for high-skilled roles relating to healthcare, finance and engineering. Titles such as Senior Fund Accountant, Gastroenterologist, Senior Mechanical Designer received the least clicks, therefore we should expect salary growth to be higher than average in those roles.

The paper is the first in a collaboration that will in future look to explore other areas where online job search data can help inform economic research and forecasting.
The views presented in Economic Letters are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Central Bank of Ireland.