Employers are being advised to refine their recruitment
strategies after research showed that a rise in UK
unemployment during the recession that started in 2008 came
about, in part, as a result of a "mismatch"
between available job vacancies and the skill sets of
A rise in the number of apprenticeships in the UK offers
light at the end of the tunnel as young people learn new
skills that will make them valuable additions to the
workforce in the future.
Such skills will be in high demand as research by Jennifer
Smith, associate professor of economics at the University
of Warwick, suggests that the relatively slow UK labour
market dynamics mean that mismatch is still having an
effect and is still partially responsible for the current
high unemployment rate of 8.2%.
Mismatch means employers find it increasingly difficult to
find suitable workers for jobs and unemployed people
struggle to identify appropriate vacancies.
The research found that mismatch-related changes in the
rate at which the unemployed find jobs had a more profound
effect on unemployment in the post-recession era compared
to the pre-recession era.
One of the clearest indications of the effects of mismatch
is the numbers of hires "lost" as a result of the
There was a total of 280,000 hires lost that could be
attributed to mismatch during the 2008/09 recession - a
figure greater than the net number of people who secured
employment during any single year over the 2001-11 decade.
These results imply that the rise in unemployment, from 5%
to over 8%, was not just due to deficient demand.
Proportionately, the construction industry suffered the
greatest decline in vacancies and the largest rises in
unemployment while the usual cyclical downturn in
manufacturing vacancies remained present.
Since 2010, the scale of mismatch in the UK has declined.
For example, manufacturing and professional services
vacancies returned to pre-recession levels in 2011. Hires
more recently are 3-4% lower than they would be if
unemployed workers were perfectly distributed across
industries in accordance with vacancies - as they were
before the recession began.
Copyright Press Association 2012