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Internet use and job market sentiment: an early assessment of Covid-19 pandemic shock across the EU

This research project investigates to what extent the widespread of internet access cushioned the job market sentiment during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The empirical strategy applies a novel regional data set, constructed from the Google Trends reports for the EU in the first quarter of 2020. The findings suggest that while the overall impact of the pandemic spurred the online interest in unemployment-related topics, the effects were less severe in regions with more frequent internet use and where internet is more commonly related to business or civic activities. This cushioning effect is, however, short-lived. By the time the contagion reached 100 infections in a country, the difference between regions with frequent and infrequent internet access disappears.

Lead investigator:

Marcin Wolski

Affiliation:

European Investment Bank

Primary topic:

Jobs, work, pay & benefits

Secondary topic:

Attitudes, media & governance

Region of data collection:

Europe

Status of data collection

In Progress

Type of data being collected:

Publicly available

Unit of real-time data collection

Region/State

Frequency

Daily