Firm Demand for Flexible Employment:
Evidence from 60 Million Job Adverts

Project partners: Abi Adams-Prassl (University of Oxford), Maria Balgova (IZA), Matthias Qian (University of Oxford)

Technological developments have changed the cost of offering different work arrangements. Indeed, by some measures, the structure of work is changing in the labour markets of developed economies. However, data and measurement issues have held back empirical research in this area. In this paper, we use a novel data source to map the trends in alternative work arrangements in the UK over time, and analyse the interaction between the employment contracts offered by firms and policies designed to support low-wage workers. We use machine learning to categorise the near-universe of job vacancies advertised online in the UK since 2013, focusing on the distinction between schedule flexibility and income uncertainty. We then analyse the impact of the 2016 increase in the minimum wage and the adoption of Universal Credit on the employment contracts offered by firms. We use these results to understand what drives the changes in alternative work arrangements.