July 2021

IZA DP No. 14530: Chutes and Ladders? Job Opportunities for Generation COVID

Erling Barth, Harald Dale-Olsen, Pal Schone, Kjersti Misje Ostbakken

With a focus on jobs for youth, this paper analyses the development of job postings in Norway during the first and second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Jobs for youth are defined by the top 20 3-digit occupations for young workers. Job postings in these occupations took a larger hit than other jobs. We also identify the top 20 occupations for entrants right after completed highest education. Separate analyses by education reveal that entry jobs for young people with lower education declined the most during the pandemic. Using a difference in difference framework with 2018 and 2019 as reference years, we show that the decline started before "lock-down" policies were in place, but that the decline was even larger during the lock-down. Concurrent with re-opening phases in the economy, job posting rates improved, but did not reach the levels comparable to those in 2018 and 2019.