OVI for March 2020: Coronavirus knocks down labor demand – demand for all service occupations drops, while demand for health care occupations and construction workers rises

April 2, 2020

OVI in March reflected a break in social and economic activities, caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Compared to March 2019, the index dropped by 23.3 percent, while seasonally adjusted index values point to a decrease of 18.5 percent compared to the previous month. This is a strong decrease on a monthly level, which still cannot be compared to 2009 when OVI index registered a significantly bigger decline.
Traditionally most sought-after occupations – sales persons, cooks and waiters – fell by 27, 30 and 29 percent respectively compared to March 2019. Moreover, the majority of sought-after occupations, particularly those from the service sector, registered a significant decrease: compared to the previous year, there is a demand for almost 40 percent less hotel managers and 50 percent less all other tourism professionals. However, there is also a strong increase in the demand for certain occupations, particularly those occupations involved in giving aid due to the pandemic and the earthquake in Zagreb. Compared to March 2019, the demand rose by 38 percent for doctors and/or dentists, by 24 percent for pharmacists and by 10 percent for nurses. Furthermore, the demand for bricklayers rose by 67 percent and the demand for construction workers by 7 percent. However, one should keep in mind that occupations rising in demand do not have a big share in the overall demand, which is why decrease in the demand for service occupations, which have a much bigger share, sets the overall OVI dynamics. On a regional basis, all regions registered a significant fall, except for the eastern Croatia, which had, in March 2020, an almost identical demand to the one from March 2019.


What is OVI?

Online Vacancy Index (OVI) is a monthly index of online job advertisements developed by the Institute of Economics, Zagreb in cooperation with the web portal MojPosao. The index aims to provide timely information regarding current labor demands. OVI index is developed by means of simple enumeration of single new job advertisements whose application deadlines end within the same month for which the index is being calculated. Given that advertisements published by only one web portal are taken into account, the number of job advertisements is expressed as an index (with the base year being 2015). 

The index is to be interpreted in such a way that the values greater than 100 represent growth when compared to 2015, and accordingly, that the values less than 100 represent a decrease with respect to the base year. Index is seasonally adjusted using the X-12-ARIMA method.

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