The Vacancy Posting and Hiring Behavior of Austrian Firms: What are the Impacts of the Business Cycles, Immigration, and Public Policy?

While the workers' side has received a lot of attention in the labour market matching process, much less is known about search and recruiting decisions by employers. In this project, we study the impact of firms on unemployment by investigating firms' vacancy posting and hiring decisions. We use data on vacancy postings together with employer-employee records from Austria to study factors that might affect vacancy posting and hiring. First, we document variation in vacancies and hiring over the business cycle to find out which types of firms strongly reduce hiring during recessions and which types of workers they hire in boom times. Second, we exploit a shock in labour supply due to increased immigration from Central and Eastern European countries after the expansion of the European Union. Third, we study the interaction of public policies and search technologies with firms' hiring decisions.