Using Artificial Intelligence to Expand the Job Search of Displaced Workers in the Aftermath of the COVID-19 Crisis

Awarded Scholars:
Achyuta Adhvaryu,University of Michigan
Anant Nyshadham,University of Michigan
Project Date:
Jan 2021
Award Amount:
$161,368

To date, almost 40 million workers have filed for unemployment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The most negative effects are concentrated among entry-level service workers who are disproportionately young, female, and from minority backgrounds. Job losses were much greater in some sectors, like retail, food and hospitality, than in others. As a result, many of the unemployed may need to search for new jobs beyond the sectors in which they were formerly employed. But how does a job seeker know which types of vacancies they should apply for? And how do we know which traits and skills predict performance in which occupations? In prior work, the investigators developed and tested a machine learning algorithm to predict occupational performance from personality traits and skills. In this research project they will use data on job seekers’ characteristics and the requirements of posted vacancies to test an artificial-intelligence based intervention that provides job seekers with information about vacancies in adjacent occupations and industries that they may otherwise overlook. The investigators will evaluate how this job search assistance affects time to reemployment, earnings and job satisfaction.

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