SEO has a strong team of labour economists specialised in researching labour market dynamics, employment programmes, and labour migration

Labour market supply and demand continually move towards each other in dynamic interaction, often requiring government intervention. SEO studies these dynamics and how public policy can affect them.

Our labour economists possess advanced knowledge of economic and econometric research methods and are highly skilled at collecting, processing, and analysing labour market data. With these capabilities, they can effectively identify and explain labour market effects. By applying state-of-the art academic research methods to socially and politically important labour market problems, our economists successfully bridge the gap between economic theory and practice.


How can we understand and predict the dynamics of labour market supply and demand?

Labour markets are subject to constant fluctuations in the size and composition of labour supply and labour demand. For example, in the Netherlands, 3 percent of the working population retires every year, 3 percent enters the labour market, 10 percent changes jobs, and a quarter is engaged in flexible jobs (such as temporary, on-call, or self-employment). Such dynamics are strongly influenced by economic and demographic developments, and they generate fluctuations in employment, unemployment, and salary levels. This is taken into account in all of our labour market research, ranging from identifying labour market mismatches to assessing the reintegration of job seekers and other labour market outcomes.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of labour market regulation and flexibility?

To adapt to the dynamics of supply and demand, flexibility in the labour market is crucial for both employers and workers. At the same time, workers typically prefer stable employment relationships and job security. Labour market regulation can provide such security but may also come at the expense of labour market flexibility. SEO conducts research on this tradeoff, and advises governments, employers, and worker organisations about the pros and cons of regulation versus flexibility.

Which short-term and long-term strategies are most effective for resolving labour market shortages?

Demographic developments in the Netherlands and other advanced economies give rise to a significant aging of the working population, which results in labour shortages that will persist in the coming decades. Possible long-term solutions include automation, robotisation, and investments in knowledge and skills, thereby increasing labour productivity. In the short term, labour migration can also reduce labour shortages by increasing labour supply. SEO has been researching each of these aspects for years and provide guidance to our clients on how to address them.

How to stimulate and redistribute investments in lifelong learning?

Optimising labour supply involves investing in lifelong learning, allowing people to remain healthy and productive in the workforce for longer. Education, training, work experience, and social innovation are components of this investment, benefiting both individuals and society. Since returns do not always accrue to the investing parties and only materialise in the long term, government intervention is necessary. Through our research, we provide insight into where the costs and benefits of lifelong learning accrue, how they can be redistributed, and how investments in lifelong learning can be incentivised. This includes not only financial incentives but also other mechanisms (such as nutching) that can be used to support both individuals and society.

How to promote equal labour market opportunities and labour market diversity?

Aging and the pursuit of well-being make it imperative that everyone can participate in the labour market, regardless of gender, age, education, or background. Achieving this requires changing existing relationships and ensuring equal labour market opportunities for all. SEO conducts various studies to measure and monitor diversity and equal opportunities in the labour market. These studies can help inform policies to promote diversity and equality of opportunity.