Dynamics of digital skills demand in labor markets of Russian regions

Digital economy: theory and practice

Digital skills play an important role in the digital economy. In many ways, the presence and level of digital skills in the country’s population depends on their demand in the labor market. Despite significant differentiation in the digital economy development in Russian regions, regional differences in the demand for digital skills have not yet been studied. The aim of the study is to determine the main trends in the dynamics of demand for digital skills in Russian regions based on the analysis of employers’ requirements indicated in vacancies. To conduct the analysis, we used vacancies posted by Russian employers on the Unified Digital Platform “Work in Russia” in 2018–2022. The data on the demand for digital skills were obtained on the basis of automated processing of employers’ requirements specified in vacancies. The analysis of the dynamics of demand in the regional context was carried out by three groups of digital skills including basic, advanced and professional. The results of the analysis indicate that there is a slight decrease in the differentiation of Russian regions in the demand for digital skills, but at the same time it remains very significant. The most significant differentiation was found for advanced digital skills, while the smallest was found for basic ones. We also found that in some regions with the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic the requirements for digital skills have increased significantly. In our opinion, this is due to the varying degree of severity of the restrictive measures taken in the regions of Russia. The novelty of the obtained results is that, in contrast to previous studies on the demand for digital skills, this paper focuses on regional differences. The practical significance of the obtained results is that data on the dynamics and level of demand for digital skills in individual regions can be used to determine priority regions in which appropriate educational and professional development programs can be implemented. Based on the obtained results, in our opinion, a more detailed investigation of the period of the coronavirus pandemic in order to study the impact of crisis phenomena on the labor market is a promising direction for further research.