Labour market tension meter

Tension on the labour market continues to grow

Tension on the labour market continued to grow in the first quarter of 2018. Due to a rising number of unfilled vacancies and a decreasing number of unemployed people, tension on the labour market is rising. The tension meter has been in the tight labour market quadrant for two quarters now. The number of jobs has risen again substantially and the number of unfilled vacancies has increased for almost five years in a row. Furthermore, labour supply (the ratio unemployed labour force/labour force) has declined further.

Situation on the labour market


The labour market tension meter is a graphical representation of tension on the labour market. The tension is the result of the balance between the demand for extra labour and the available supply of labour. The tensions is calculated with the aid of the following labour market indicators: the unemployment rate is used for labour supply, and the total number of vacancies divided by the average number of jobs is used for the labour demand. Based on the relation between demand and supply, the tension meter places the situation on the labour market in one of four phases: slack, increasing tension, tight, or decreasing tension.

The figure below also illustrates labour demand and supply. The widest gap between unemployment rate and vacancy rate was recorded at the beginning of 2014. Since then, labour supply has fallen and labour market tension has been rising. The number of job vacancies has increased since the third quarter of 2013.

Unemployment (ILO-definition) and job vacancies, adjusted for seasonal variation



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