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Nina Vyshnevskaya, Anna Zudina

Occupational Structure in European Countries: What do Forecasts Predict?

2017. Vol. 12. No. 4. P. [issue contents]

This paper analyzes the future occupational structure of the labour force in European members of the Organisation for Co-operation and Development (OECD). Occupational structure forecasts allow researchers to evaluate the quality of job openings and, consequently, overall future labour market performance. Identification of demand for certain occupations in Europe can facilitate assessment of whether processes occurring in the Russian labour market are consistent with global trends.

The paper discusses the methodology of labour force forecasting and basic research approaches to the prediction of occupational structure changes. It emphasizes the dynamics of demand for representatives of certain occupations in Europe by identifying the fastest growing and declining occupations and suggests possible reasons for changing demand. The paper demonstrates that the main occupational trend over the next decade will consist in the increasing importance of professionals, as well as technicians and associate professionals. The increase in demand for health professionals and representatives of occupations providing scientific and technological innovation will be most significant. At the same time, it is expected that demand for elementary occupations will also rise. This process will evolve simultaneously with the decrease in the total number of skilled and semi-skilled blue-collar occupations due to globalization and the reduction of industrial production in developed economies. The ongoing “mechanization” of many job functions will not eliminate the need for occupations such as cleaners, labourers, domestic servants or personal workers. The need for these jobs allow employees with low levels of education to enter the labour market rather than depending on the social benefit system. Another tendency for all countries with developed economies will be reduced demand for many white-collar occupations as modern computer technologies and the automation of many routine functions previously performed by office workers becomes more prevalent.

Citation: Vishnevskaya N., Zudina A. (2017) Occupational Structure in European Countries: What do Forecasts Predict? International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 12, no 4.
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