A Low-Cost and Flexible Approach for Tracking Jobs and Economic Activity Related to Innovative Technologies
Nesta Working Paper No. 15/11
34 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2016
Date Written: June 2015
In this paper we propose an approach, based on structured analysis of online help-wanted advertisements (want ads),for producing low-cost, flexible and realtime estimates of innovative jobs by national, regional, and local levels. We show how this methodology can be used to analyze the geography of innovation in the UK. First we develop the basic procedures for the want-ad approach. Then using U.S. data, we show how the want-ad approach accurately tracks the distribution of computer and mathematical occupations across U.S. states. We then estimate the total number and the distribution of IT occupations, big data occupations, and medtech occupations in the United Kingdom. The paper ends with a discussion of how the want-ad approach can be used as a low-cost methodology for tracking innovative jobs, even on a very local level. We suggest it should be in the tool kit of any economic planning agency.
Keywords: Innovation, jobs, want ads, data collection, Employment, Big data, IT
JEL Classification: J63
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation