Research Output

Mismatch unemployment and local labour market eficiency: the role of employer and vacancy characteristics.

  Much of the theoretical and policy debate on local labour markets has focused upon
improving the educational, training, and other `supply-side' characteristics of job seekers. However,
complementary employer `demand-side' factors, in particular the characteristics of employers, job
openings, and recruitment practices, are also important in local labour markets but have been
relatively neglected in the literature. The authors investigate such factors and argue that job vacancies
in an environment of high unemployment are not only the result of traditional `structural' or `skill
mismatch' between local labour markets, but may result from a mismatch between employer and job-
seeker expectations combined with an asymmetry of information between these groups, resulting in
`frictional mismatch' within local labour markets. Skill shortages can therefore be seen as a subset of
wider recruitment difficulties. The authors survey a sample of employers to examine their character-
istics, vacancies, and recruitment practices. The results provide evidence on the importance of
employer and job factors on the flow of people into job vacancies. They also indicate that certain
recruitment practices and inherent characteristics of vacancies and employers result in job offers that
are either unattractive or inaccessible to the unemployed and hence increase the duration of job
vacancies. It is argued that research into and design of local labour-market policies need to take more
explicit account of the employer and job characteristics when discussing skill mismatch

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 November 1999

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Pion Ltd.

  • DOI:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    HD Industries. Land use. Labor

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    331 Labor economics


Adams, J., Greig, M. & McQuaid, R. W. (1999). Mismatch unemployment and local labour market eficiency: the role of employer and vacancy characteristics. Environment and Planning A. 32, 1841-1856. doi:10.1068/a3342. ISSN 0308-518X



labour markets; local; job seekers; supply-side; demand-side; recruitment practices; skill mismatch;

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