The Dynamics of Labour Market Entry and Job Search Channels. A Study of the Styrian Labour Market
Seen from an international perspective, the Austrian labour market is characterised by high labour turnover. Employment entry is fuelled by a number of sources: graduates of schools and apprentices enter employment; employees change jobs; individuals who temporarily left the labour force re-enter the work force; unemployed return to active employment. The highly dynamic labour market entails opportunities as well as risks: job growth as well as low employment stability generate high labour turnover. This may improve one's employment opportunities, but may also enforce greater labourwork adjustments or bear the risk of unemployment. For companies it may mean the need for more flexible staff numbers and higher labour adjustment costs. A study of the situation in Styria examined the structure of the labour market entry in more detail and took a closer look at the job search channels used. The group of those who take up new employment is substantially different from those who are in employment. Labour market dynamics affect in particular the young, seasonal and service workers and employees of SMEs. Women, with the exception of those aged 20 to 30, are more subject to labour market fluctuation than men. At 15 percent casual workers are disproportionately represented in new employment. 42 percent of all job entries were formerly unemployed. In 1997, the Labour Market Service (LMS) was responsible for about 8 to 10 percent of all job matching. Employment is mostly found through informal ways: more than 60 percent of those taking on a new job get it through friends or acquaintances or through direct enquiries. The main formal route to employment is newspaper advertising, at a share of 21 percent. The structure of the clients of the LMS, both on the supply and demand side, differs markedly from that of other search channels. The LMS is more likely to serve persons with low skills, blue-collar jobs and apprenticeships, frequently in small companies. Women are more likely to be clients than men, the unemployed and those returning to work use the placement services of the LMS more frequently than those who intend to change jobs or want to find their first job. In towns, the LMS plays only a small role in job matching. People in cities tend to use different search channels than people in rural areas. People looking for work usually combine the placement services of the LMS together with other methods. Those who found work via the LMS have looked much harder, in terms of the number of search methods used, than those who found a job through another channel. In spite of its relatively low market share, the LMS is a major player on the matching market, particularly for people with low skills, for people re-entering the labour market after periods of absence from work and for non-urban labour markets. Research shows that it was not that the LMS was a successful match-maker because no other search channels were used by the client, but that in these segments of placement services the LMS is a leading institution. Nevertheless, the study has found that there are segments which are inadequately covered by the LMS – particularly people transferring from school to work and women with children. The structure of job openings that are reported to the LMS, in particular the low share of part-time jobs, jobs with medium to high skill requirement, may be the major reason for its minor role in finding jobs for these groups.
Zugangsdynamik und Vermittlungswege auf dem Arbeitsmarkt. Eine Untersuchung am Beispiel des steirischen Arbeitsmarktes; The Dynamics of Labour Market Entry and Job Search Channels. A Study of the Styrian Labour Market
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