Towards a job-rich recovery, 18 April 2012
Europe's 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth sets a target of 75% employment rate across the European Union by 2020. If the target is to be met, EU employment will have to increase by 17.6 million jobs from its current level. Although employment gains of 1.5 million were recorded by mid-2011, these have done little to offset the 6 million job losses incurred in the EU since 2008. The deceleration of growth since mid-2011, with a negative outlook for 2012 and widening divergences between Member States and regions, has only increased the challenge in terms of employment, social inclusion and combating poverty.
On 18 April, the European Commission adopts its Employment Package ‘Towards a job-rich recovery’ which will present policy guidance to support job creation, labour market reforms and better employment governance, improved involvement of social partners and better use of EU funds, in particular the European Social Fund, as a lever for long-term investments in human capital.
The overarching focus of the Communication is on supporting job creation, restoring the dynamics of labour markets and enhancing EU governance. Eurofound has contributed to various parts of this Communication, some aspects are highlighted below.
Supporting job creation
The aim is to grow sustainable activities, sectors and businesses, particularly SMEs. Policy must target improvements in both productivity and employment, allocate human resources to meet economic and social needs or improve the labour market situation of more vulnerable groups.
Eurofound has carried out extensive research and analysis in the following related fields:
- Quality of the working environment and developing inclusive and sustainable work
- Job creation and maintenance in SMEs
- Short-term work initiatives
- Undeclared work
- Green jobs and training
- Initiatives for workers with care responsibilities
Restoring the dynamics of labour markets
The second part of the Communication proposes measures to reform the labour market, invest in skills, promote a deepening of EU labour market integration and ensure effective matching between labour demand and supply across borders. Eurofound's work in monitoring job trends has been taken up in the recent report on Employment and social developments in Europe.
Flexicurity remains, according to the EC, an important policy milestone in building dynamic labour markets.
Eurofound can provide comparative research data and findings in the following fields:
- Posted workers
- Shifts in job structure
- Company flexibility
- Working poor
- Youth and work, youth employment, Young people and NEETs (not in employment, education or training)
- Ageing workforce
- Life long learning: training and upskilling during the crisis
- Social dialogue