A bridge between sentiment indicators: What does Google Trends tell us about COVID-19 pandemic and employment expectations in the EU new member states?

Technol Forecast Soc Change. 2021 Dec;173:121170. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2021.121170. Epub 2021 Aug 31.


The sentiment indicators tend to reflect better the social tensions caused by COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, the aim of this paper is to reflect the relationship between employment expectations and tensions related to new coronavirus. The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on employment expectations is assessed using the data collected by Google Trends in Panel Autoregressive Distributed Lag (panel ARDL) models and Bayesian multilevel model. The results indicated that COVID-19 searched on Google had a negative impact on employment expectations in the EU New Member States on the period March 2020-May 2021. The unemployment and inflation rate had also a negative effect, while improvement in economic sentiment indicator has increased the employment expectations. These results are the support of economic policies to reduce labour market tensions and improve employment expectations.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; Employment expectations; Google Trends; Social policy.