The Occupational Barometer is a short-term (one year) forecast of the situation in occupations. The occupations are classified by experts into three groups:
- shortage occupations – those in which it should not be difficult to find a job in the coming year;
- balanced occupations – those in which the number of vacancies will be close to the number of people capable of and interested in taking up employment in the occupation concerned;
- Surplus occupations – those in which it might be more difficult to find a job because of the low demand and numerous candidates willing to take up employment and meeting the employers’ requirements.
The barometer is developed at the counties level and allows to observe the directions and intensity of changes taking place on local labour markets. The results can be useful for planning training, supporting the process of job mobility or selecting career path.
The survey methodology was developed in Sweden in 1990’s, as a part of a broader system for forecasting changes in the labour market. In 2007, the Occupational Barometer was adapted by the public employment service in south-western Finland. Currently the survey is conducted in throughout Finland.
The Barometer was first used in Poland by the Regional Labour Office in Krakow. In 2009, the staff of the Labour Market and Education Observatory of Małopolska (which is a research project of the Regional Labour Office in Krakow) learnt about the concepts of the Barometer during a study visit to Turku, Finland. The same year, a pilot survey was conducted in six counties in Małopolska, and then in the entire region. The survey has been conducted in all counties in Poland since 2015.
Until 2019, the Occupational Barometer survey was carried out in parallel to the quantitative research called Deficit and Surplus Occupation Monitoring (MZDiN). MZDiN was conducted countrywide, pursuant to the Employment Promotion and Labour Market Institutions Act of 20 April 2004. By the decision of the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy, from 2020, due to their complementarity, these studies were combined into one, called Occupational Barometer. After that, Barometer remained qualitative research (as it has been from the beginning).