Our paper examines variation in individual job opportunities of Swiss men and women of two birth cohorts and the factors accounting for this variation. Differences in job opportunities and the structure of these have seldom been a topic of empirical research, mostly due to difficult and complex measurement issues. This paper contributes to this open field of research, first, by applying a measure for time-dependent individual job opportunities and, second, by analysing the extent to which individual job opportunities depend on supply- and demand-side factors.
The analyses are based on two data sets. The Swiss Job Monitor provides annual occupation-level information on the number of advertised jobs, helping us to construct indicators for individual job opportunities and the overall labor demand. The Swiss Life History Study provides monthly individual-level information on occupational careers of two birth cohorts. We link the two data sets, transform the data into person-years and apply linear regression analysis. The results show that similar factors determine individual job opportunities of men and women. They depend on the overall economic situation, the occupational growth rate as well as on age, human capital, and occupational credentials. However, the respective weight of these factors differs for men and women. Demand-side factors play a more important role for men’s job opportunities. Supply-side factors – and occupational credentials in particular – seem to be more important for women.