The emergence and global spread of ICT have brought about a new socio-economic challenge of digital exclusion. Over time, this challenge has become a complex societal issue with direct economic repercussions in many areas. Specifically, this phenomenon is crucial from the labour market perspective, at both the macroeconomic and microeconomic levels. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online business and management activities have increased rapidly. These changes have highlighted the need to explore the problems of digital exclusion and/or the unsatisfactory digital skills of the labour force more deeply. Our paper aims to identify how digital exclusion is manifested in the Slovak labour market and highlight the tendencies that the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated. In the analysis, we use available aggregate-level and individual data characterising the Slovak labour market from the macro-perspective, comparing it to the other EU Member States. To gain a more composite picture from the microeconomic perspective, we use original questionnaire survey data gained from medium-sized and large enterprises in Slovakia. According to our findings, the proportion of Internet non-users in the Slovak and European populations declined considerably during the pandemic. However, we identified a risk of the durability of digitally disadvantaged groups of the population among those who are at least 55 years old, those with a low education level, and people in financial distress. Our results underline the fact that companies could help their employees cultivate their digital literacy and resilience to enable a more inclusive digital society and a better-performing labour market in Slovakia.
digital exclusion ; digital divide ; labour market ; COVID-19 pandemic ; Slovakia
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