With respect to the divergent patterns of employment growth between the EU and US, the mainstream approach has mainly emphasised the rigidities of European labour markets while another school of thought has stressed the importance of technological change which, over the last decade, has been driven by information and communication technologies (ICT). This paper provides a test of the above hypotheses by using newly available data for Italian three-digit industries. Regression results show that, in 1997-2000, the employment growth across Italian industries is mainly explained, with opposite signs, by the growth of output (or demand) and labour costs. The intensity of ICT investment exerts a negative impact on the employment changes of secondary industries while, within service industries, it is positively and significantly associated with the increase of employment.
ICT, employment growth, labour demand, technological change
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