29 April 2021 - 16:22

The InGRID2 expert workshop on ‘The Identification and Monitoring of Vulnerable Groups in the Labour Market’ took place online on the 28th and 29th of January 2021. Discussions brought together 49 experts from across Europe and focused on two topics: data harmonization and multi-dimensional indicator building. The workshop was hosted by the University of Amsterdam.

On the first day, the experts discussed the advantages and challenges of data harmonisation in relation to the identification and analyses of vulnerable groups. While data harmonization has many benefits, in particular the potential to increase cross-national variation, it comes with different methodological challenges. Particularly when focusing on ex-post harmonisation which pools and adjusts different surveys not specifically designed to be compared to create a new integrated dataset. Dr. Markus Quandt (GESIS; SSHOC project), Prof. Dr. Irina Tomescu-Dubrow (IFiS-PAN; data recycling project) and Prof. Dr. Laura Morales (Sciences Po; COST Action on Data Collection and Harmonization focusing on Migrants; SSHOC project) shared their experiences regarding data recycling in their respective harmonization projects.

The experts also discussed how ex-post harmonization can enhance the potential to analyse so-called ‘hard-to-reach groups’. Dr. Mirjam Fischer (University of Cologne) presented her work identifying LGBTQ workers in surveys and on the recent GSOEP survey module targeting LGBTQ people. Dr. Mustafa Hakki Ozel, from the ILO, presented his work estimating the size of the migrant labour force using labour force surveys. Dr. Daniel Mont shared experiences from harmonizing disability data across statistical instruments and administrative systems. The experts called for the inclusion of boost samples for vulnerable groups in survey instruments, investment in data archiving following DDI standards[1], and the addition of the monitoring of vulnerable groups in the aims of data collection instruments and infrastructures funded by the EU and its member states.

On the second day, the experts discussed the extension of individual-level job quality indicators for identifying and monitoring poor working conditions to the most vulnerable groups of workers. While it is already a challenge to identify vulnerable groups in datasets, it becomes even more problematic to build reliable compositional micro- and macro-level job quality indicators for them. However, such indicators would be of utmost importance to examine the progress of such groups towards ‘better jobs’ in terms of improved working conditions. In this line of reasoning, the workshop brought together experts and stakeholders in the area of indicator-building to discuss the potentials and pitfalls of creating compositional job-quality indicators for particular vulnerable groups across countries and over time.

Several experts shared their experiences with building and using multi-dimensional indicators on working conditions of vulnerable groups. Dr. Sem Vandekerckhove from the Research Institute for Work and Society at KU Leuven presented his work on norm-based job quality indicators. Mr. David Barbieri from the EIGE Institute presented the work on the gender equality index and the challenges faced when including an intersectional lens. Dr. Stefano Marchetti from the University of Pisa presented his work on the effect of sampling variability on the reliability of composite indicators. Prof. Daniel Guinea from UNED and Prof. Ricardo Mora from UC3M presented their recent work on the mutual information index of segregation and the possibility to focus on intersecting inequalities in segregation. Dr. Gaia Bertarelli, Prof. Caterina Giusti and Prof Monica Pratesi from the University of Pisa presented collaborative work with UvA on the creation on compositional indicators for various vulnerable groups based on the EU-LFS using small area estimations. Dr. Martin Guzi from Masaryk University and Jakub Kostolny (CELSI) presented work related to the challenges creating compositional indicators based on EU-SILC and additional data sources.

The experts called on data providers to improve the documentation on the construction of weights in source surveys and on statistical offices to publish information on the total population of intersectional groups. Furthermore, the experts stressed the need to publish both, the point estimates, the coefficients of variability and the coding scripts of multidimensional indicators.