PhD Candidate in Labour Market Forecasting (1.0 FTE)

Maastricht University
February 25, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 2,541
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Fixed-term contract:
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Job description

You will work as a PhD candidate within the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA), one of the research departments of Maastricht University's School of Business and Economics (SBE), and co-supervised by senior staff from SBE's Department of Quantitative Economics (QE). ROA has a leading position nationally and internationally in research in the field of education and the labour market. The QE department has leading international reputation in econometrics, mathematical economics and operations research. You will have access and contribute to ROA and QE's international network of renowned scholars, and you will also be part of the Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE) that coordinates SBE's PhD programme.

ROA's Research and Policy Plan relates to the changing demand for skills, the acquisition of skills over the life course and the utilization of skills (ROA's Research and Policy Plan is described here: https: // The forecasting of the demand for and supply of skills has a long research tradition at ROA (see: https: // poa). The aim of this PhD project is to identify and implement refinements in the econometric methodology underlying ROA's forecasting model. Stakeholders of ROA increasingly demand more detailed and more frequently updated labour market forecasts, e.g. around the impact of technology and the energy transition on the labour market. In dealing with these demands we face data challenges imposed by the main source of data used. The main data input for the forecasts is a large-scale survey of the Dutch population based on which we construct time series data for the development of the number of workers, split by industry sector, occupation and education degree. Challenges we face include the limited size of the data, the length of the time series (about 25 years), and the existence of structural breaks. Generating more detailed forecasts from such data will come with larger prediction errors. Against this background, the main goal of the PhD project is to analyze whether and how the reliability of the forecasts can be improved. In a first step, the project will focus on evaluating the statistical reliability of labour market forecasts given the use of the longitudinal character of the data and the different methodological parts of the underlying estimation model. In a second step, the project will focus on solving the reliability issues signalled in the first part either by using additional data (e.g., administrative register data, vacancy data, etc.) and/or by applying different estimation techniques from the small area estimation literature.

As a PhD, you will be involved in teaching activities at the Department of QE (e.g., teaching of tutor group meetings, MSc thesis supervision).



Are you self-motivated, curious and interested in research? Do you have a record of high academic achievement in econometrics (e.g., good grades and/or involvement in other academic activities) and the skills required to become an excellent researcher in your field? Then a PhD position at ROA might be the challenge you are looking for.

  • You have a MSc degree in econometrics or data science or expect to graduate soon;
  • You have affinity with quantitative issues that relate to labour or education economics;
  • You have a strong academic background and willingness to publish in high- ranking academic journals;
  • You have excellent quantitative and analytical skills, as well as oral communication and writing skills;
  • You have affinity with empirical analyses on large data sets and/or natural or field experiments;
  • You have knowledge of statistical software (e.g., Stata, R, Python).
  • ,

    Conditions of employment

    Fixed-term contract: 1,5 + 2,5 years.

    The intended start date of the appointment is 1 September 2023.

    Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD students starting with a salary of € 2,541 with annual growth to € 3,247 gross a month (based on a full-time appointment). Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% of the yearly gross income.

    You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Maastricht. If you do not already live in Maastricht (or its direct surroundings), you will be eligible for an allowance for moving costs and a relocation reimbursement. You have to be willing to participate in the PhD programme of the Graduate School of Business and Economics.

    The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website www. > About UM > Working at UM.


    Employer Maastricht University

    Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 22,000 students and about 5,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. For more information, visit www.



    Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market Home (

    Department of Quantitative Economics - Research - Maastricht University


    Additional information

    For more information, please contact:

    prof. dr. Didier Fouarge, ROA, email [email protected] or prof. dr. Alain Hecq, QE, email [email protected]

    To apply at this vacancy, press the button ‘apply now' to see the application procedure.

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