Web Crawlers as a Tool for Labour Market Analysis

A Web Crawler (other common synonyms: Web Spider, Web Scraper) is a kind of software that trawls the Internet for information. You set various parameters for its search and examination functions; it then retrieves this information as an automated task, and said data is compiled and analysed as required.

For the purposes of labour market analysis, the standard approach is to trawl job vacancies posted online to learn about what jobs are in demand, what skills and requirements are being sought in job seekers, and so forth.

You then extrapolate this data in various ways, towards an improved understanding of a given labour market and its demands, predilections, gaps, wage dynamics, trends – whatever you want to know.

Why pick this tool:

  • Frugal factor: It’s cheap – i.e. the software is free, you only pay staff time using it.
  • Ease of Use
  • As current as it gets: It supplies you with real time fast data.
  • Limitless tailoring and follow up.
  • It’s the way things are going.

To know more, see this presentation from JobTown’s February 2013 Transnational Workshop on Labour Market Analysis and Forecasting

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