Prospera’s labour market dashboard is using big data to complement official surveys with live insights on the demand for skills and supply of jobs.

According to the latest national labour market survey, more than 135 million people were employed across Indonesia in February – higher than before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Compared to 2021, fewer respondents felt the pandemic had a negative impact on employment, be it through unemployment, temporarily not working, reduced hours or being out of the labour force.

Unemployment and underemployment were on the way down but had not fully rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, and informality remains very high at around 60% of the workforce.

While the labour market is showing some signs of recovery, there is still room for further improvement – this can be supported by better understanding the demand and supply of specific skills.

Official labour market surveys are a vital snapshot of the supply of workers but do not assess the demand side of the labour market.

Surveys can provide information on the locations, sectors and education levels of employed people, but not detailed insights on specific specialisations.

The nature of the survey process means there are lags between data collection and the publication of results, as well as gaps between iterations.

A deeper dive
Prospera developed a labour market dashboard to help identify the locations of job opportunities and the skills people need to invest in.

This is especially important in an archipelago of more than 5,000 inhabited islands where the cost of moving for work is high and information on jobs is limited.

Prospera’s head of data analytics Gary Deng said the dashboard, which complements official findings and provides more information on the demand for skills, can be an important tool for policymakers.

“The labour market dashboard is informed by big data scraped each day from major online job portals in Indonesia, including private platforms like JobStreet and the labour ministry’s Karirhub,” he said.

“Data is then processed and cleaned – keywords are extracted, jobs are classified into categories consistent with labour market surveys and locations are geocoded according to province boundaries.”

The dashboard can be used to identify trends and opportunities in the labour market and support policymakers and educational institutions to match skills development to the needs of employers.

Dashboard data from June 2021 to April 2022, showed that the number of jobs advertised for the IT sector had overtaken wholesale and retail jobs to rank second (only manufacturing had more).

An analysis of job titles showed the greatest opportunities are in professional services and gave some indication to the skills training that employees need.

There were many jobs advertised in sales, marketing, analytics and IT development. Core skills like communication and English were the most sought after, but other more specific skills such as Java Script and MySQL also ranked highly.

A breakdown of salaries showed mining, IT and business services were the highest paying sectors, while accommodation, hospitality and education ranked poorly.

Salaries for jobs advertised in the IT sector have also trended upwards over time, while manufacturing pay declined.

While the IT sector had many vacancies and many applicants, there were relatively less competition for the plethora of manufacturing sector jobs.

Jakarta was, unsurprisingly, the most competitive location for job seekers, whereas West Sulawesi was the least competitive, indicating a possible skill shortage.

Matchmaker, matchmaker
With the labour market dashboard up and running, Prospera is now looking at the supply of vocational skills.

“Degrees and diplomas are offered through universities and vocational training institutes, while more micro-trainers are providing short courses in specific skills through online marketplaces,” Gary Deng said.

“We are going to extract key information like the cost, training categories and skills being taught.

“The dashboard will be for the labour market demand and the skills supply – then we can see how much of a mismatch there is and where the opportunities are.”