European Jobs Monitor
The European Jobs Monitor [EJM] tracks structural change in European labour markets. It analyses shifts in the employment structure in the EU in terms of occupation and sector and gives a qualitative assessment of these shifts using various proxies of job quality – wages, skill-levels etc. The EJM covers all 27 EU Member States and is based primarily on analysis of European Labour Force survey data.
Jobs, classified by sector and occupation, are ranked according to mean hourly wage; this classification is then used to study on a continuous basis the changes in the structure of employment in different countries, as well as at aggregate EU level. The EJM methodology is adapted from the pioneering work of Joseph Stiglitz and Erik Olin Wright / Rachel Dwyer in the USA in the 1990s.
The EJM originated as a way of empirically testing the extent to which the EU member states had met the overall Lisbon Agenda strategic objective of creating 'more and better jobs'. The conclusion of the earlier report was that the EU had indeed been successful at generating more jobs. Over 20 million net new jobs were created in the decade up to 2006. The majority of this new employment was in relatively higher paying jobs (though this trend was more pronounced in old EU15 member states than in the 2004 accession countries). A tentative conclusion was therefore that this new employment had been overall of better quality though with evidence of polarisation as well as upgrading depending on the member state selected.
The latest EJM annual report (March 2013) - Employment polarisation and job quality in the crisis - highlights the sharpening of employment polarisation during the recession as low-mid and mid-paid jobs suffered the brunt of net job loss. See summary of main findings.
Figure: Employment shifts by job-wage quintile, EU27, comparing 2008q2-2010q2 and 2011q2-2012q2 (thousands)
Source: EU-LFS, SES (author's calculations)
In 2013, the EJM will expand its scope both geographically and historically. Voluntary cooperation has begun with non-EU researchers replicating jobs-based analysis in selected developed and developing countries. This will help to frame European developments in the context of dramatic ongoing shifts in the international division of labour. EJM analysis will also be extended back in time (to the 1970s/early 1980s) in some EU member states where national data permits - initially Sweden, the UK, Spain and Germany. Using Eurostat data, the EJM has thus far been able to cover employment shifts using the jobs approach in the majority of member states only as far back as 1995. The next EJM annual report (2014 Q1) will, inter alia, explore the factors that may be contributing to observed patterns of employment change in developed economies.