Print page

Global Skill Shortages

Malcolm S. Cohen, President, Employment Research Corporation, Ann Arbor, Michigan and a former Director, Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations, University of Michigan, US and Mahmood A. Zaidi, Professor of Human Resources and Industrial Relations, and Director, International Program Development, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, US
As the world entered the twenty-first century, global skill shortages in many occupations were evident throughout the world. While these were mitigated by a global recession, there is no generally agreed upon method for measuring these shortages. This book discusses various theories for measurement.

Using data collected from 19 developed countries in North and Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific region, the authors explore various aspects of skilled labor shortages, develop a methodology of measuring shortages by occupation, and provide estimates of the likelihood of the occurrence of such shortages. They develop labor market indicators which measure the degree of shortage or surplus in different occupations.
Extent: 160 pp
Hardback Price: $127.00 Web: $114.30
Publication Date: 2002
ISBN: 978 1 84064 520 0
Availability: In Stock
$0.00

Buy the E-Book @ paperback price

Join our mailing list

  • Business and Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Economics and Finance
  • Industrial Organisation
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Labour Policy
As the world entered the twenty-first century, global skill shortages in many occupations were evident throughout the world. While these were mitigated by a global recession, there is no generally agreed upon method for measuring these shortages. This book discusses various theories for measurement.

Using data collected from 19 developed countries in North and Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific region, the authors explore various aspects of skilled labor shortages, develop a methodology of measuring shortages by occupation, and provide estimates of the likelihood of the occurrence of such shortages. They develop labor market indicators which measure the degree of shortage or surplus in different occupations. The study covers as many as 49 occupational groups, although the number varies by country. The indicators are compared to anecdotal reports about shortages in the countries studied as well as correlated with various economic, political and institutional indicators. Some occupations such as CEO’s, health professionals and computer scientists were common across many countries studied and part of a global shortage.

Scholars, government officials, students and corporate and union representatives concerned with employment, labor and training policies and issues will find the data and analysis in this book a valuable addition to their knowledge.
‘Just before sitting down to write these few words, I happened upon this lead-in to a USA Today article (May 14, 2002), "Nurse anaesthetists in short supply – Hospitals crank up salaries to attract pivotal employees." And, as many are aware, this particular shortage has been the case for a period of time measured in decades. Why is it that, for some job classes, supply persists in falling short of demand at the going wage for long periods of time, whether or not the aggregate labor market is tight or slack? What characteristics of labor markets explain this phenomenon? What are the observable indicators that identify a particular job class as being seriously in shortage or as heading into such a condition? Do the same indicators manage to identify most shortage categories? Is the shortage phenomenon local, national, or global? How do economic agents, both on the supply and the demand side, cope with such shortages? These are some of the major issues dealt with by Cohen and Zaidi in their concise and highly readable Global Skill Shortages. Economists, business managers, HR professionals, career counsellors, and educators will all enjoy and get the message in this well-written book. Economists in particular, however, will appreciate the way the authors push the analytics of the problem into suggesting the route to empirical indicators.’
– Saul H. Hymans, University of Michigan, US

‘Skill shortages can be a major bottleneck for economic activity and growth. Constructing accurate measures of skill shortages that could be used by policymakers to target programs to reduce these bottlenecks has proven to be challenging. But in this new volume, Malcolm Cohen and Mahmood Zaidi take on this challenge and present a new indicator of skill shortages by detailed occupations across 19 countries. Their global perspective makes this an especially interesting and useful work for economists and policymakers interested in assessing the global capacity to meet occupational shortages across countries.’
– Lisa M. Lynch, Tufts University, US

‘As a legacy of the Great Depression, measurement of unemployment – labor surplus – advanced throughout the developed world. Macroeconomists focused on driving down unemployment. The reverse condition, labor shortage, was generally neglected and often unmeasured. In this volume, Cohen and Zaidi ably redress the balance, focusing on the labor shortage phenomenon and its statistical appraisal. Their work will surely stimulate further research into labor shortages, the response of employers and workers to them, and critical issues of labor shortage measurement.’
– Daniel J.B. Mitchell, University of California, Los Angeles, US
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Theoretical Aspects of Skill Shortages 3. Globalization and Skill Shortages 4. Skill Shortage Studies in Selected Countries 5. Shortage Indicators by Occupation and Country 6. Factors Correlated with Shortages 7. Coping with Skill Shortages 8. Concluding Remarks Appendix Index