Stelios Mytidis, Officer A, Research and Planning Directorate, Cyprus Human Resources Development Authority (HRD)
- You have recently completed the new HRD study entitled ” Labor supply and demand forecasts in the Cypriot economy 2022-2032″. What is the purpose of this study and what information does it include?
The Cyprus Human Resources Development Authority (HRDA), utilizing its many years of experience and expertise in labor market matters, established the systematic provision of long-term forecasts for the sectors and professions of the Cypriot economy. In this context, he completed the study “Forecasts of labor force demand and supply in the Cypriot economy 2022-2032”, which, for the first time, also includes forecasts for the supply of labor force.
The main purpose of the study is to provide forecasts for both the demand and the supply of labor in the Cypriot economy during the period 2022-2032. This is useful input for proper and timely planning and implementation of education and training activities.
Labor force demand forecasts are provided in 52 sectors of economic activity and in 309 professions covering the entire Cypriot economy. Specifically, for each sector and profession, forecasts are provided for employment, development needs and permanent departures, thus ending up with overall employment needs. Regarding the labor supply forecasts, these are provided for the entire economy, by gender and by education level.
- What are the most important elements that emerge through the study in relation to the total employment and the employment needsthat will arise in the Cypriot economy in the coming years?
The study predicts that total employment will show an upward trend in the period 2022-2032. Within this decade, the employed will record a numerical increase of 52,577 persons and a percentage increase of 12.1%.
The annual total labor force demand in the period 2022-2032 will reach 11,666 people with the annual rate reaching 2.5%. Growth employment needs, i.e. new jobs, are forecast to be 5,258 people or 1.1% per year and will be lower than employment needs due to departures, which are expected to be 6,408 people or 1.4% per year .
- In which sectors of the Cypriot economy is it predicted that the greatest employment needs will appear?
The vast majority of employees will continue to be concentrated in the tertiary sector, showing a large increase. As a result, 8 out of 10 employed people will work in the tertiary sector, which demonstrates the very high dependence of the Cypriot economy on services.
The 10 sectors of economic activity predicted to present the greatest overall employment needs, i.e. the greatest labor force demand, during the period 2022-2032, is:
- Retail trade (1,175 people or 2.5% per year)
- Education (1,108 people or 3.0% per year)
- Health and social care (1,038 people or 4.0% per year)
- Construction (854 people or 2.1% per year)
- Public administration and defense (782 people or 1.9% per year)
- Restaurants (710 people or 3.8% per year)
- Wholesale trade (565 people or 2.4 % per year)
- Hotels (466 people or 3.6% per year)
- Legal and accounting activities (456 people or 2.2% per year)
< li>Informatics (371 people or 4.0% per year)
- Which occupations are expected to have the largest future employment needs?
About half of those employed will work in middle-level occupations (occupations requiring secondary education), while 4 out of 10 employed will work in upper-level occupations (occupations requiring tertiary education).
The 10 occupational groups estimated that will have the greatest overall employment needs, i.e. the greatest labor force demand, in the period 2022-2032, are:
- Shopkeepers and salespeople (1,068 people or 2.7% per year)
- Housekeepers, cleaners, washers and ironers (934 people or 2.9% per year)
- Service workers (868 people or 3.1% per year)
- Assistant accountants and business and management consultants (863 people or 2.1% per year)
- Teachers (639 people or 2, 3% per year)
- Building craftsmen (494 people or 2.0% per year)
- Doctors, nurses and other health specialists (459 people or 3.3% per year) time)
- Drivers, drivers, equipment operators, petty officers and seamen (419 people or 2.5% per year)
- Information and communication technology specialists (417 people or 5.0% per year)
< li>General duty secretaries, private secretaries and typists (411 people or 1.9% per year)
It should be pointed out that the detailed forecasts for the demand in all occupations of the Cypriot economy for the period 2022-2032 are contained on the website of the AND. For this purpose, the HRD has developed an online tool through which each interested party can, for each profession separately, see information on the description of the profession, the knowledge and skills required by the specific profession, the forecasts for the number of employees and employment needs as well as data on registered unemployment for the specific occupation.
- You have previously mentioned that this is the first time that HRD has conducted labor supply forecasts. What do you mean by labor supply and what do your forecasts show?
By the term labor supply, we mean the economically active population, i.e. the sum of the employed and the unemployed. As far as forecasts are concerned, it is estimated that the total economically active population of 15-64 years old, in the period 2022-2032, will show an upward trend. Within this decade, the economically active population aged 15-64 will show a numerical increase of 41,489 people and a percentage increase of 9.1%.
The majority of the economically active population aged 15+ will continue to have tertiary education, while noting a large increase in the period 2022-2032. As a result, in 2032, about 6 in 10 will have a tertiary education, 1 in 3 will have up to a post-secondary non-tertiary education, and 1 in 10 will have up to a lower secondary education.
- How often are HRD forecasts updated and what data do you take into account during the forecasting process?
HRD monitors on a systematic basis the long-term employment trends and carries out forecasts for employment and employment needs in the sectors of economic activity and occupations of the Cypriot economy, with the aim of providing data on the predicted situation in the labor market of Cyprus. In this context, the study of the forecasts is carried out every 2-3 years, in order to take into account the new data arising in the economy and the labor market of Cyprus.
The main sources of the data used to make the forecasts are the Ministry of Finance, the Cyprus Statistical Service and the European Statistical Service (Eurostat). Specifically, the Ministry of Finance utilized the forecasts for the rate of change of total employment, which are calculated in relation to the rates of change of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and productivity, while the Statistical Service of Cyprus used the Labor Force Survey and the National Accounts. The short-term revised population projections covering the period 2022-2032 were used by the European Statistical Service.
The methodology for carrying out labor force demand and supply forecasts has been developed by the Directorate of Research and Planning of the Human Resources Development Authority and was based on its long experience in providing forecasts in Cyprus as well as similar methodologies that have been developed and used in European countries.
It is pointed out that, during the process of carrying out the forecasts for the labor force demand, the strategic aspirations of Cyprus, as recorded in the various program documents of the government, were taken into account. Subsequently, based on these strategic objectives, specific assumptions and work scenarios were adopted, which are detailed in the study.
Additionally, I note that HRD actively participates in the European network for the early identification of skills needs (Skillsnet) and in particular in initiatives and actions promoted by “Skillsnet” to provide pan-European forecasts for the demand and supply of labor in the labor market. This enables the HRD to identify new trends emerging in European countries, in sectors of economic activity and professions.
- What actions does the HRD take with the aim of the widest possible dissemination of the results of the predictions so that they become useful?
The utilization of the results of the forecasts is considered very important and is a priority for the HRD. The data and information contained in the forecasts are useful information for the correct and timely planning of the activities of the AND. In particular, they contribute to the planning and implementation of appropriate training activities, to the definition of Agendas for HRD Plans, to the information of the various groups of stakeholders (businesses, consultants, trainers, employed, unemployed, inactive, young people and the general public) as well as to further support of the collaborations with services and agencies that deal with these issues. Also, the study is used by many public and private agencies and services that deal with the issue of human resources planning and the professional guidance of the youth of Cyprus as well as by policy makers in the field of education, training and lifelong learning.
In this context, an event was successfully held on March 9, 2023, in the presence of the Minister of Labor and Social Insurance, Mr. Yiannis Panagiotou, to present the study, in which relevant policy-making bodies and social partners participated. There will be special gatherings with the Counseling and Vocational Education Teachers, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth, as well as with the Employment Counselors in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance and there will be collaboration with the Cyprus Youth Organization to disseminate the results of the study. In addition, the study is presented to parents and middle school students in all provinces as well as at relevant conferences.
At the same time, the AND carried out a campaign to inform interested parties and the wider public, through the use of electronic and printed media. press, the Social Media and the radio, while presenting the main results of the study in television news broadcasts.
These actions contribute to better informing the human resources about the needs of the labor market in view of the green and digital transition of the economy, and strengthen the effort to alleviate the mismatch of skills, which is presented to a large extent in Cyprus.
- In closing, what would you like to advise our young people who are now going to study?
The forecasts provided by the National Human Rights Council can be used by all interested parties, either to end up in employment in professions that are in demand, or for further studies. However, it is noted that the provision of advice and the guidance of students is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth and is done by the Counseling and Vocational Education Professors, while the guidance of the unemployed is done by the Employment Consultants of the Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance.
The decision to pursue a particular profession or field of study must be a conscious one, taking into account the needs of the economy and the labor market, but also weighing one's aptitude, interests and abilities equally. We are in an era characterized by ever-increasing competition, uncertainty and constant changes in the labor market, a result of globalization and geopolitical, economic and technological developments. Young people must identify changes, constantly enrich their knowledge and skills and strive to be as good and productive as possible in everything they do.