Measuring the task
frequencies of 430 4-digit ISCO
occupational units in 13 countries
Brian Fabo
Analyst, CELSI
Data and Survey Manager, WageIndicator Bratislava
Kea Tijdens
Research coordinator, University of Amsterdam/AIAS
27.11. 2013
 Explanation of the challenge
 EurOccupations approach:
 Methods
 Results
 Conclusion
 WageIndicator approach
 What is WageIndicator?
 How is the WI survey used
 Time line and data intake so far
The academic challenge
 Academic relevance
 occupation is a key variable in social sciences
 cross-country comparisons based on assumption that
similar occupational titles refer to same work activities
 yet, an empirical basis for this assumption is lacking
 EurOccupations project
 FP6 project for developing an occupations database for
comparative socio-economic research in European Union
(2006–09): BEL, DEU, ESP, FRA, GBR, ITA, NLD, POL
 Research Objective: Are occupations similar regarding
work activities >> Does an Italian plumber engage in the
same activities as a plumber from France, Poland or UK?
EurOccupations methods
 Measuring 10 tasks for 160 occupations
 160 occupations selected from the EurOccupations
database with1,440 titles
 Selection: variation in skill level, gender composition,
number of jobholders, coverage of entire labour market
 Drafting 10 task descriptions (desk research) per occup.
 Raters: experts and job-holders
 Rating task frequency on a 5 point scale (never ..... daily)
 Recruiting experts through networks EurOccupations
teams (2468 experts rated 2950 occupations)
 For some occupations no experts - > recruiting jobholders
through national WageIndicator websites (1247 raters)
 Q1 Are occupations similar?
 51% of occupations lack of agreement or no agreement
 38% weak or moderate agreement
 12% strong agreement
 Q2 Are occ’s similar within countries?
 Spain 80%, Germany 58%, Netherl. 43%, Poland 48%
 Q3 Are occ’s similar across countries?
 Spain strong agreement, Germany weak agreement
 Poland and Netherlands lack of agreement
 Q4 Rate experts and jobholders similar?
 Experts: 35% of occ’s at least moderate agreement
 Jobholders: 50% of occ’s at least moderate agreement
EurOccupations conclusions
 Content
 We assume that occupations are similar across countries,
but to a large extent they are not -> how to explain?
 Methods
 Empirical testing of task descriptions can be undertaken
for a wide range of occupations across Europe,
particularly when recruiting jobholders through Internet
 Empirical testing of skill requirements can be undertaken
for a wide range of occupations across Europe, but needs
skill lists per occupation -> needs further development
 Further research may even allow for an empirical
underpinning of occupational dynamics: which processes
are underlying the occupational formation?
What next: How to collect
data on tasks?
 WageIndicator Web Survey
 WageIndicator survey – Covers 80 countries,
gathers 1000s of cases monthly
 Asks for occupation, using an extended version
of the EurOccupations database
(all occ’s coded according to ISCO08)
 In addition to wage questions about working
conditions, socio-economic characteristics
 Tasks lists were included in the web survey,
these show up depending on ticked occupation,
asking to tick frequency on a 5-pt scale
Measurement of task frequency
 Tasks lists in the Web Survey
 Tasks taken from ISCO-08 description of tasks
for all 4-digit occupational units (in English)
 Tasks lists for 427 of 433 units were prepared
 For 6 so-called ‘not-elsewhere-classified
occupations’ no descriptions were included
 In total 3237 tasks (including few duplicates)
on average 7.58 tasks per occupation
 Tasks were translated into 7 languages for 13
Time line
 November 2013: data collection started in:
 Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil,
Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Netherlands,
Russia, South Africa, Spain, UK
 April-May 2014: first analysis
Data Intake
 Up to January 2014 (included) the data
intake is as follows:
South Africa
Thanks for attention
[email protected]
[email protected]