"Labour Market Tightness and Needs for Skills" conference, by the French Ministry of Labour, December 18th 2018.

A few months ago, French and European business surveys started showing a growth in the hiring difficulties of firms. Is this growth caused by a tighter Labour Market and a labour supply shortage, or by a stronger sensibility of firms to hiring delays? Considering the extent of the recent transformations of the Labour Market, it seems necessary to take into account the full range of dimensions of the concept of tightness: labour supply and demand mismatch, turnover, etc.

Labour Market Tightness comes indeed from diverse and non-exclusive causes. It may for instance be linked to geographical mismatch or to the firms’ hiring processes, whereas for some occupations or industries, there are more specific problems of qualification and of mismatch between the firms’ need for skills and the qualification level of the available labour force.

All of these questions will be addressed during the conference, with the participation of French and international researchers, but also of local and national operators, in order to feed the collective thought on the topics of Labour Market Tightness and Need for Skills, in the widest and most diverse way possible.

The conference will offer presentations from researchers and international experts who will present their most recent works and discuss them with the audience, with three main topics:

  • How can one define labour market tightness? May one assimilate it with hiring difficulties? Which indicators are used in France and in other countries?
  • What are the sources of labour supply and demand mismatch? What is the link with the firms hiring processes?
  • Is a skill mismatch-based approach more relevant than a job-based approach? How can one measure skill