Why We're Collaborating

The World Bank Group and LinkedIn have created the Digital Data for Development collaboration to support innovative policy decisions as developing countries grapple with a rapidly changing global economy. With hundreds of millions of members worldwide, LinkedIn has the potential to offer a new, timely, and granular source of data about emerging industries, workers’ changing skills composition and how they’re engaging with labor markets globally.

For both our organizations, this collaboration is a good fit with wide-ranging efforts to help workers around the world make effective use of their talents and skills.  

LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.  Through its pro-bono Economic Graph initiative, LinkedIn uses data to measure complex dynamics of the global economy and then share these insights with policymakers to enhance global access to jobs and economic opportunities.  Collaboration with the World Bank Group is a key component of this initiative.

The World Bank Group is the leading provider of open data on economies around the world, in collaboration with governments and other multilaterals.  It also engages with the private sector, including an array of technology firms, to find new solutions to development challenges.  The World Bank Group has launched the Human Capital Project to help countries make more effective investments in people – based on compelling evidence that good health, education, skills training, and social protection are essential to preparing workers for the more competitive and technology-driven future economy.  

The data generated by LinkedIn’s members can complement the World Bank Group’s indicators and other official sources to provide important new perspectives in select industries.  It can be especially helpful where sectors and skills are emerging or changing quickly and where workers themselves are on the move.

What Kinds of questions can a policymaker answer from this data?

  • Employment growth – What are the employment trends in my country? Which industries saw the largest employment growth in recent years? 

  • Industry skills – For a specific industry, what are the skills needed? Which skills are becoming more (or less) important? How are skills being applied across industries?

  • Talent migration – Which countries do I compete with for talent? What industries and skills are experiencing the biggest gains or losses associated with these talent movements?  This cross-country talent movement data is best at capturing migration among business professionals.

What the Data Covers

LinkedIn members self-report their work experience and skills on their profiles, using more than 50,000 distinct, standardized skills classified by LinkedIn. These have been coded and classified by taxonomists at LinkedIn into 249 skill groups that are presented in this dataset; each is described in our methodology paper, together with methodology to extract, clean and validate the data against official sources where available. The data in this first phase of collaboration include countries that had at least 100,000 LinkedIn members at the end of 2017 to maximize confidence in our samples and data quality.

While LinkedIn gathers data for a full range of sectors, the metrics included here are limited to six knowledge-intensive and tradable sectors for which LinkedIn data can provide a more representative global picture.  These are Financial Services, Professional Services, Information & Communication Technology (ICT), the Arts & Creative Industries, Manufacturing, and Mining/Quarrying.  As LinkedIn’s membership continues to grow, we will explore the feasibility to expand the sectors and countries covered by the indicators.

Data Quality and Privacy

The project team has conducted data quality checks for all the countries included in the dataset and validated the data against 23 external data sources before publishing to the dashboard.  Our assessments of the data’s representativeness are based on comparisons to the latest available data from ILOStat, a consolidated dataset of national labor surveys covering over 100 countries.

Compared to workers overall, LinkedIn’s members are more likely to be young, technology-savvy, female, and from the ranks of business professionals.  How members use the LinkedIn platform can vary based on professional, social, and regional culture, as well as overall LinkedIn website availability and accessibility in individual countries. 

Information on data standardization, validation and adjustments to reflect cultural and membership variances are detailed in the data’s methodology paper. All data shared under this collaboration is aggregated data to protect LinkedIn member privacy: each data point contains aggregated information of at least 50 members.