Browse by subject - Labour market
23 May 2013: Impact of health problems on the labour market (Spain / Information update)
Results from a special module in the 2011 Spanish Economically Active Population Survey show the biggest health issue among people aged between 16 and 64 was ‘back or neck problems’. The findings revealed that 8% of people had some difficulty carrying out their basic everyday activities. Among those who said they were ill, had some limitations, or both, 74.1% said their weekly working hours were not affected, while 7.7% said they needed special help to be able to work.
23 May 2013: Positive reaction to outplacement from job-seekers (Belgium / Information update)
There has been an increase in government investment in Belgium to support people who have lost their jobs. Giving people immediate support is seen as vital, and outplacement has taken on a pivotal role in providing this. Two research centres have published separate evaluations of the outplacement system, where an employee is supported to find a new job. The system has been rated highly by candidates who are generally satisfied with how it is meeting the needs of the labour market.
07 May 2013: Effects of the economic crisis on employment (Spain / Information update)
In Spain, 3.3 million jobs were lost between 2008 and 2012. A recent report shows that the job losses have particularly affected poorly qualified workers and temporary workers, hitting men and young people hard. Spain’s unemployment rate reached 25% at the end of 2012, one of the highest in the European Union. Other characteristics of the job market have also changed; long-term unemployment and labour turnover has increased, and the average length of temporary contracts is shorter.
12 April 2013: Social background continues to affect graduate job prospects (United Kingdom / Information update)
The latest research shows that social background and parental education continue to influence the labour market outcomes of graduates. Researchers found that extracurricular activities taken on during studies could counteract the disadvantages of a less privileged background, but the same disadvantages also created barriers to students’ involvement in such activities. The study also revealed a significant gender wage gap, particularly in areas such as the legal sector.
08 April 2013: Challenges of an ageing population (Estonia / Information update)
A study by Estonia’s Centre of Applied Social Sciences looks at older people in the labour market and shows that overall awareness of the challenges society faces due to the ageing population is very low. Based on the results, researchers recommend improving measures designed to keep workers in the job market for longer. These include life-long learning initiatives, more flexible working conditions and preventative health care measures.
08 April 2013: Job satisfaction low among doctors (Bulgaria / Information update)
Job satisfaction among doctors in Bulgaria was the subject of a survey conducted by healthcare information network Healthgrouper. The research showed doctors were generally unhappy with their wages, work-life balance and health service reforms. High levels of stress at work also had a negative impact on doctors’ job satisfaction. High levels of job satisfaction were identified with the overall work environment, including relationships with colleagues and autonomy at work.
13 March 2013: Combining work and childcare still difficult for women (Czech Republic / Information update)
A special report based on the Czech Republic’s regular Labour Force Survey has focused on work-life balance. Research was carried out in 2010, and revealed a lack of childcare facilities was forcing women to take long career breaks. Women said there was a lack of nursery care for very young children, combined with a shortage of part-time jobs with flexible working hours. Their strategy to cope with this involves a long career break followed by a return to non-flexible full-time work.
08 March 2013: Evaluating the back-to-work scheme for young people (France / Information update)
The independence contract (‘contrat d’autonomie’) was introduced in France in 2008 to help young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods enter the labour market. The overall take-up was positive, and the help and guidance to participants appears to have been effective. However, the dropout rate has been high, particularly among the most disadvantaged young people. It also seems that many of those who succeeded in finding work are employed under precarious conditions.
06 March 2013: Young people’s transition from school to working life (Portugal / Survey data report [ or view as size 448 kb])
Youth unemployment is an increasingly critical issue in Portugal despite improving levels of educational attainment. A survey of 15–34 year-olds by Statistics Portugal in the second quarter of 2009 found that the average age of leaving formal education was 19 years-old. Over 90% of respondents who were not still studying were in a job lasting more than three months. The average time taken to find the first job was 20.4 months (excluding those who did work while at school).
28 February 2013: Study points to alarming rise in youth unemployment (Bulgaria / Information update)
The real levels of youth unemployment in Bulgaria could be twice as high as official figures suggest, even though government statistics already show that the number of jobless workers under the age of 29 is rising faster than anywhere else in Europe. The study by research agency Mediana highlights changes in the structure of youth unemployment since 2008. Most alarming is the long-term youth unemployment rate of 46%, and the finding that one in six people over the age of 20 has never had a job.
13 February 2013: Collective agreement breaches in hotel sector (Cyprus / Information update)
In July 2012, the Cyprus Labour Institute conducted a survey on collective labour agreements and trade union organisation in the hotel industry. The survey was based on stratified sampling using a self-completed questionnaire of employees in the hotel sector in the districts of Paphos and Ammochostos. The survey included data such as the characteristics of employment in hotels, workers’ views on breaches of their collective agreements and general job satisfaction.
03 December 2012: Employers positive about recruiting young workers (United Kingdom / Information update)
Employers in the UK believe they have a part to play in tackling youth unemployment, according to a report by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development. The report shows employers that have recruited a young worker in the past year are generally positive about that worker. But only 56% of employers intend to recruit a young worker in the next year. Apprenticeships were also praised, although concerns have been raised over equality issues that surround them in the UK.
18 October 2012: Effects of work environment and family–life balance (Spain / Information update)
Work environment has a significant impact on the commitment of employees, according to a report that investigates the contrast between the attitudes of workers whose employers promote work–life balance, and those that do not. Researchers also found that men were less likely than women to be satisfied with their work–life balance, and that commitment to a company making no effort to help employees balance work and family life was dramatically lower among older workers.
18 October 2012: Workers hampered by limited welfare regime (Italy / Information update)
The welfare regime in Italy relies largely on the family, and in particular, women, to act as the main provider of care for children, the sick and the elderly. The high cost of childcare and services for the elderly has meant women who would like to get back into the labour market are forced to either work part time or not work at all. The problems are exacerbated by the reluctance of many companies and organisations to allow carers to work flexible hours or to take time off in an emergency.
19 September 2012: One in three firms willing to provide primary skills to workers (Germany / Information update)
A study by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research indicates that over a third of companies in Germany are willing to train workers in primary skills such as literacy and numeracy. The background to the study is an on-going debate on how to meet the demand for skilled labour and release unexploited potential in the German labour market. A lack of a basic education affects the employability of low-skilled workers and is accompanied by a higher risk of becoming unemployed.
30 August 2012: Retail workers’ erratic hours and pay highlighted by union report (Ireland / Information update)
Research by Ireland’s Mandate Trade Union suggests that high levels of working time flexibility are being demanded of retail workers. A survey conducted on behalf of the union, which represents 45,000 retail workers, found that over half were employed on part-time contracts and that their working hours were subject to frequent change. In addition, 39% of respondents reported a significant dip in take-home pay over the past year, with the average fall being €109 per week.
03 August 2012: Working conditions in the retail sector (TRANS NATIONAL / Comparative analytical report [ or view as size 879 kb])
This report examines trends in working conditions and employment status in the retail sector in the EU27 countries and Norway between 2001 and 2010. The considerable expansion of the sector over the past 20 years or so is associated with a transformation in its competitive structure, greater use of technology and changes in the regulatory framework. Large companies now dominate at the expense of the numerous small and micro businesses that once characterised the sector in most countries. One result is a significant decline in the number of self-employed workers and a substantial increase in the number of part-time jobs (many held by women) and non-permanent contracts. These changes have affected career patterns and introduced new risks to employees’ health, especially psychosocial ones. Recent initiatives by the social partners have aimed above all to regulate flexibility and working time arrangements, promote training, reduce the risk of robbery and enhance employee well-being.
01 August 2012: Education is key factor in labour market entry of young people (France / Information update)
Data from the French Labour Force Survey was used to analyse the situation and evolution of new entrants to the labour market, focusing on level of educational attainment, employment rate, unemployment rate, working conditions and pay. Educational level and experience were the key determinants for explaining differences within the group of new entrants, as well as between them and the total workforce. Overall, the patterns identified are relatively stable over time.
31 July 2012: Latvia: EWCO CAR on Working conditions in the retail sector (Latvia / National Contribution)
The commerce sector, in which 50.5% of value added and 60.9% of employment is retail trade, has become the second largest sector in terms of value added and the largest sector in terms of employment. The main employers are large commercial chains. In 2010, 70% of employers worked full time and 86% were temporary workers. 82% of employees were women. 61.4% were younger than 45 years old. These figures are typical for the retail trade. Career perspectives and employment security are better in large enterprises. The health and well-being of workers and security of work environment is ensured by the national working protection system.
31 July 2012: Denmark: EWCO CAR on Working conditions in the retail sector – National contribution (Denmark / National Contribution)
Research show that Danish retail workers overall face relatively hard working conditions compared to other job groups when it comes to both physical and psycho-social risk factors. Research does however also show that the working conditions vary significantly with different job profiles in the retail sector. Workers in special shops tend to have more favorable working conditions compared to workers in supermarkets. On an aggregated basis retailers do however tend to be more exposed to harassment and negative behavior and face lower levels of skills.
30 July 2012: Spain – EWCO CAR on Working conditions in the retail sector – National contribution (Spain / National Contribution)
The Spanish commerce sector follows a negative employment evolution over the last years. 63% of the occupied personnel in the retail sector are women; innaddition, the proportion of young workers and the percentage of employed persons with part-time contracts is higher than the average for the total economy in Spain. On the other hand, work-related diseases and accidents are lower than the average, although stress levels are higher. Concerning the legal framework, regulations are extensively developed by the Autonomous Communities, and there exists a big controversy with regard to working time arrangements, especially between small establishments and large superstores or franchising chains.
30 July 2012: UK: EWCO CAR on Working conditions in the retail sector (United Kingdom / National Contribution)
The retail sector in the UK is the largest in the UK, employing 2.8 million workers and 9% of all VAT registered businesses. The workforce is predominantly young (one third of the workforce is under 24) and relies on part-time and flexible work. There are widely acknowledged skills gaps in the sector and barriers to female and part-time staff in reaching management positions. Retail crime has declined over the last 10 years although verbal abuse remains a threat to workers in the sector. Government initiatives in the sector are targeted at improving skills through the sectoral skills council and streamlining regulation for retailers. Unions are active in running campaigns to improve the working conditions in the sector although their scope is usually limited to larger employers.
17 July 2012: Company strategies to avoid pay cuts during the recession (Ireland / Information update)
A new study conducted by The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) used data from the Central Statistics Office to look at trends in earnings and labour costs between 2006 and 2009. It found that Irish companies were generally reluctant to cut pay as a way of reducing costs during the recession, preferring instead to cut employment conditions. Over 60% of companies adopted strategies such as reducing staff, hours worked, bonus payments and overtime in 2009.
09 July 2012: Negative attitudes towards labour immigration (Lithuania / Information update)
Independent opinion poll and political and social survey specialists Vilmorus conducted a study in 2010 exploring the attitudes of Lithuanian residents towards labour immigration. The survey’s findings revealed rather negative attitudes. Roughly 58% of the respondents did not support labour immigration, and among the main reasons given were concerns that cheap immigrant labour would increase competition in the labour market and worsen working conditions.
25 June 2012: Small companies hard hit by employment crisis (Greece / Information update)
The latest survey in a series conducted by the Institute of Small Enterprises of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants (IME/GSEVEE) found that the majority of micro and small enterprises considered the biggest challenge to their business to be their non-wage costs such as social security contributions and utility bills, rather than wages. More than eight out of 10 enterprises felt a reduction in social security contributions would help them most.
03 May 2012: Impact of the informal economy on the labour market (Romania / Information update)
In 2011, Romanian national trade union confederation BNS published a report on the informal economy and its impact on the labour market. It shows that informal employment represents 31.4% of total employment in Romania. The distribution of informal employment by institutional sectors is 75.3% in the households sector, 0.7% in the formal sector and 24.0% in the informal sector. Subsistence rural households account for 96.4% of the household sector’s informal employment.
15 March 2012: Working conditions – the dark side of tourism (Austria / Information update)
Austria is renowned for its beautiful landscapes and high-quality tourist infrastructure. However, this is very much in contrast with the quality of work and employment in the tourism industry, which can be seen as the dark side of that favourable image. The sector suffers from low income levels, low wage satisfaction, unfavourable working times, very limited career opportunities, a high level of career breaks and significant use of over-qualified workers.
27 February 2012: Temporary workers have most employment protection in Europe (Luxembourg / Information update)
A study published by CEPS/Instead in 2010 measured the amount of protection afforded to workers by employment legislation in Luxembourg for the first time. The study, which used the employment protection indicators of the Organisation for Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD), found that Luxembourg has the most protective employment legislation in Europe for temporary workers, although permanent workers’ protection is similar to that of other EU Member States.
23 February 2012: Moving from flexicurity to ‘mobication’ (Denmark / Information update)
The significant impact of structural changes on European labour markets has led to a stronger focus on labour supply and the employability of the workforce. The European Commission has promoted flexicurity as a key concept embracing important dynamics of labour market regulation. A new report argues that most recent policy development suggests a strong focus on workforce mobility as well as a need to enhance education in the broadest sense. They coin this ‘mobication’.
30 January 2012: Prevalence of temporary contracts among young people (Poland / Information update)
The report, ‘Youth of 2011’, presents a multidimensional picture of young Poles. It draws attention to the vulnerable labour market situation of those aged 15–34 and particularly those aged 15–24 whose employment prospects have been most affected by the economic crisis. Only Slovenia has a higher percentage of temporary contracts in the EU than Poland in the 15–24 age group. This domination of temporary contracts is causing increasing labour market segmentation.
20 January 2012: Job situation of university graduates (Austria / Information update)
A survey of graduates of Austrian universities of all types between 2004 and 2008 found that most have a relatively easy entry into the labour market, using traditional job-hunting strategies such as replying to adverts or making unsolicited approaches to employers. The favourable employment situation during these years may well have helped. The survey also revealed a link between the type of school attended and the type of university where students enrol.
19 December 2011: EU social climate survey examines impact of crisis (EU Level / Information update)
To identify the impact of the economic and financial crisis, a Eurobarometer survey in June 2011 examined the views of EU citizens on a range of social issues (job satisfaction, employment situation, pension provision and unemployment benefits) in terms of the current situation, the situation compared with five years ago and their expectations for the coming 12 months. The responses were largely negative, although there were wide variations between countries.
11 November 2011: Immigrant women entrepreneurs (Portugal / Information update)
A recent study by the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality analysed the experiences, strategies and profiles of immigrant women entrepreneurs in Portugal from three community groups (Portuguese-speaking African countries, Brazil and Eastern Europe). Most immigrant woman entrepreneurs in Portugal are married and 35–44 years-old. More female immigrant entrepreneurs from all three groups were satisfied with their work–life balance than male ones.
27 October 2011: Green jobs and training (Portugal / Information update)
A government study to characterise the status of green jobs and training in Portugal used data on green jobs in a government ministry and data on private sector employment in 23 sectors. The study revealed that the number of green jobs in Portugal doubled between 1996 and 2007. More men than women held green jobs, with many of the women involved in vocational training and research. The number of degree and masters courses on the environment has increased significantly.
27 October 2011: Spotlight on women’s position in the labour market (Cyprus / Information update)
A survey on women’s position in the Cypriot labour market found low awareness of laws on equal treatment and motherhood at work. Just over half of all respondents believed female workers were not treated as well as men and two thirds thought female entrepreneurs faced challenges that men do not. Family obligations and lack of childcare were felt to be the biggest barriers to women’s employment and career advancement. However, participants felt the situation could be improved.
30 September 2011: Sharp increase in flexible forms of labour (Greece / Information update)
The annual report from the Labour Inspectorate (SEPE) on its activities in 2010 was received with great interest as it is one of the few sources of statistical information about the situation in Greece’s labour market during the financial crisis. The report highlights the increase in the number of labour disputes since 2008 (particularly over payment) and shows that more and more full-time employment contracts are being converted into part-time or shift work contracts.
23 September 2011: Reform of pension system stirs controversy (Hungary / Information update)
The government’s reform of the pension scheme is aimed at geting several hundred thousand economically inactive Hungarians under the age of 60 back into the labour market. The proposed changes to the disability pension scheme could save the government some HUF 217 billion (€0.8 billion) by 2013. The government’s plans to reduce disability pension benefits and scrap early retirement are opposed by many groups, particularly NGOs and trade unions who are keen to manintain the status quo.
15 September 2011: Monitoring improvements in quality of work in Flanders (Belgium / Survey data report [ or view as size 120 kb])
In 2001 the Flemish Government and social partners agreed to increase substantially the quality of jobs in the region. The Flemish workability monitor was developed to help determine progress in implementing this policy. This survey data report reviews the methods and key findings of the workability monitor between 2004 and 2010. The ‘workability’or quality of work rate increased from 52.3% in 2004 to 54.3% in 2010. This means that over half of Flemish employees do not suffer from stress at work, have a job that motivates them and provides sufficient learning opportunities, and achieve work–life balance.
02 September 2011: Working pensioners important for Czech labour force (Czech Republic / Information update)
A recent study of the Czech workforce, conducted by the Czech Statistical Office, has shown that pensioners made up almost 5% of the economically active population in 2010, and more than 5% of all pensioners are still in work. This section of the workforce shows specific characteristics relating to education, job position and employment contract. A growing number of pensioners want to remain in work and feel they will be able to do so, past the official retirement age of 65.
24 August 2011: Poor rewards for self-employed knowledge professionals (Italy / Information update)
According to a survey by the Institute of Economic and Social Research, self-employed knowledge professionals generally earn less than their colleagues working as employees, work longer hours and have poorer social security protection. The survey examined the annual earnings of over 4,000 knowledge professions in terms of their occupational status and professional profile. However, the survey design means that its results can only be considered indicative.
18 August 2011: Entry of young Poles into the labour market in 2009 (Poland / Information update)
The report, ‘Entry of young people into the labour market in Poland in 2009’, published by the Central Statistical Office (GUS) in December 2010 found that those aged 15–34 made up just over a third of the Polish labour force in 2009 and had an employment rate of 54.2%. A majority of young people in Poland acquire their first work experience after completing school education. It was found that approximately half the youth population’s first job matched their qualifications.
18 August 2011: Survey reveals increased precariousness of female employment (Bulgaria / Information update)
A recent survey in Bulgaria by the Agency for Social Surveys and Analyses found that 20% of female respondents worked in the informal economy without any contractual arrangement or social security, and that more than 40% had a second job. The most vulnerable group are young female employees. The feeling of job insecurity is significantly on the increase with 90% of female respondents believing they would be unable to find another job if they lost their current position.
05 August 2011: Impact of subcontracting on working conditions (France / Information update)
A report on subcontracting has been published by France’s Research and Statistics Department (DARES). The survey-based research examines the impact of subcontracting on working conditions and has found that the practice varies by sector and involves workforces with particular characteristics. Although subcontracted work is found to be more intense and risky, the levels of job satisfaction and job security are only slightly lower than in the economy generally.
28 July 2011: Romania: EWCO CAR on Working conditions of nationals with a foreign background (Romania / National Contribution)
Except for the census data collected roughly every ten years, there very few other statistic surveys on employment and working conditions by ethnic groups. The Romanian economy’s international exposure and the advocating for the principles, mechanisms, and institutions specific for the four basic liberties are of a recent date. This explains why foreign investors and workers from other countries are still in modest numbers. In Romania there are several ethnic groups that settled hundreds of years ago in the national territory.The only ethnic group for which were reported some dificulties related to the integration on the labour market is the Roma population.
15 July 2011: Field of study is major factor for success in early career (France / Information update)
The professional careers of young people are linked to their level of qualification. In most cases having a qualification protects against unemployment and ensures higher pay. A report from the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies shows that the chosen field of study can also determine how successful a young person is in the early years of their career, and that those with vocational qualifications may have more success than those with a higher degree.
11 July 2011: Position of migrants in the Czech labour market (Czech Republic / Information update)
The available statistical data demonstrate that migrants occupy predominantly marginal posts in the labour market with a rather low quality of working conditions and disadvantageous forms of employment. Interviews with foreign workers and labour office officials revealed that economic factors, the recruitment strategies of employers, the patterns of behaviour of job seekers and their life strategy choices influence the labour market position of foreign workers.
11 July 2011: Sick immigrant workers more likely to go to work (Spain / Information update)
Foreign workers in Spain are more likely than Spanish ones to turn up for work if they are unwell, a study has concluded. A study by the Institute for Work, Environment and Health (ISTAS) compared sickness presenteeism levels between Spanish-born and foreign-born workers. It found that presenteeism is higher among foreign-born workers, particularly among those who haven’t been in Spain long. This difference might be explained by immigrants’ precarious employment.
11 July 2011: Ethnic minorities’ jobs hardest hit by crisis (Bulgaria / Information update)
The economic crisis has had a significantly different impact on people in Bulgaria depending on their age, gender and ethnicity. The Crisis Monitoring Survey, carried out in 2010 by the Open Society Institute and the World Bank, reveals that the crisis affects Turks, Roma and native Bulgarians differently, depending on what jobs they do.. The decisive factors, in terms of the risks among the three ethnic groups, are employment status, legal status and their employment sector.
11 July 2011: Migration to Cyprus set to rise (Cyprus / Information update)
The Economics Research Centre of the University of Cyprus published a study in 2009 entitled ‘Immigration in Cyprus: An analysis of the determinants’. Researchers followed an econometric approach, analysing the factors involved in immigration to Cyprus. The results confirm the significance of some non-economic factors, particularly a common language, distance from origin and ‘network effects’. Researchers also closely examined unemployment rates and income levels.
06 July 2011: Native women work more thanks to migrant women performing domestic tasks (Italy / Information update)
According to a Banca d’Italia paper, a higher incidence of female immigrants who supply domestic tasks has enabled native Italian women, especially those who are highly educated, to spend more time at work despite the continuing unequal gender division of domestic tasks between partners. Use of female immigrants acts as a substitute for child care and social spending at municipal level by ensuring the continuity of the familistic welfare model that characterises Italy.
20 May 2011: Domestic violence against women and its impact on employment prospects (Malta / Information update)
A 2010 survey involving interviews with 1,200 women aimed to establish the prevalence of domestic violence in Malta and its impact on the employment prospects of women victims of domestic violence. Some 14% of the 140 women who had experienced physical violence claimed they had been forced to work against their will, while 4% were not allowed to work by their husband or partner; the employment of 10% was disrupted by the physical violence and 3% found it difficult to get work.
29 April 2011: Employment in small companies severely hit by the recession (Greece / Information update)
The July 2010 survey conducted by the Institute of Small Enterprises of the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftworkers and Merchants (ΙΜΕ/GSEVEE) in cooperation with MARC S.A. sought to find out how small enterprises in Greece were faring in the middle of the economic crisis. The results reveal the deep recession facing the Greek economy, with closure in the near future considered probable by 20.9% of those surveyed and 21.9% having had to reduce staff numbers.
20 April 2011: Employment conditions of homeworkers (Bulgaria / Information update)
A survey conducted in 2010 for the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria examined the homeworking sector which employs more than 500,000 people. Face-to-face interviews with 500 homeworkers confirmed the findings of previous surveys and revealed low pay (mainly at piece rate), long hours and poor working conditions. About 80% of the respondents were women and more than half were aged 50–65; 55% were self-employed and the rest worked under contract.
18 April 2011: Survey reveals employees’ apathy to their rights at work (Latvia / Information update)
The Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia has published the results of its fourth population survey which investigated topics including inhabitants’ actions when their rights as employees are violated, occupational injuries from electrical equipment and compulsory medical check-ups. A comparison with the results of the 2009 survey suggests that the attitude of the inhabitants of Latvia towards their rights as employees is more indifferent than it was a year ago.
18 April 2011: Graduate shortages and precarious employment (Austria / Information update)
Austria has a relatively low number of graduates completing higher education compared with other OECD countries, but this is not reflected in the often precarious labour market entry of degree holders. A recent study investigated the contradiction between low levels of tertiary-level graduates and the precariousness of graduate employment, revealing growing differentiation in the employment situation of graduates in terms of both sectoral and occupational status.
24 March 2011: Women and men in the Danish labour market (Denmark / Information update)
The latest of the annual reports from the Ministry of Employment, ‘Women and men in the labour market’, published December 2010, reveals that the pay gap between men and women in Denmark has been more or less unchanged for most of the last 20 years. Overall men still earn more than women, but there are now more women who have attended a higher education institution than men. On average men now take more paternity leave, although maternity leave is still much the larger share.
11 March 2011: Obstacles to continuous vocational training for vulnerable groups of workers (Romania / Information update)
A survey by researchers from the Romanian National Observatory for Lifelong Learning Development (ODIP) into the participation of three groups of workers at risk in the labour market in continuous training schemes found a low rate of participation, with considerable variation between urban and rural regions, age and size of company. The main obstacle for the employees surveyed was their low level of income and the main obstacle for employers was the high cost of training.
11 March 2011: Needs of first-time parents during their transition to parenthood (Malta / Information update)
A doctoral thesis submitted in 2008 sought to identify potential challenges for the transition of first-time parents in Malta to parenthood. The study found a significant difference in the adjustment to parenthood between the male and female participants. The research also looked at the work–life plan of the first-time mothers and found that, while over half those questioned planned to continue their career, less than a quarter had done so by six months postnatal.
17 February 2011: Position of migrant workers in Slovenia (Slovenia / Information update)
A recent report by the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia (ZSSS) examines the position of migrant workers in the Slovenian labour market over the past few years. It looks at the problems of breaches of labour and employment legislation, health and safety, accommodation of migrant workers and sector variations in their treatment (construction appears to be the worst sector in this regard). ZSSS is working to improve living and working conditions for migrant workers in Slovenia.
17 February 2011: Immigrants more affected by labour market crisis (Spain / Information update)
A recent study by the 1st May Foundation of Spain’s Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) analyses labour integration among immigrants in Spain, using a set of socioeconomic indicators to compare the Spanish native working population with the immigrant working population. Among other conclusions, the report states that the current economic crisis is having worse consequences for immigrant workers than for the population as a whole.
28 January 2011: Employment and unemployment trends 2008–2009 (Greece / Information update)
In September 2010, the Institute of Labour of the Greek General Confederation of Labour published its annual report on the Greek economy and employment. The report includes data on basic macroeconomic indicators such as labour productivity, wages, labour costs and investment and makes an important contribution to the public debate on labour market developments and industrial relations in Greece. One chapter is dedicated to employment and unemployment trends.
10 January 2011: Fewer and shorter contracts for agency workers (Italy / Information update)
The 2009 annual report of the bipartite training fund, Forma.Temp, reveals a major reduction of temporary agency workers (TAWs) in Italy compared with 2008 and earlier in the decade with fewer and shorter contracts. A strong decline in the provision of contracts for TAWs for younger workers and in training provision for TAWs (particularly basic and on-the-job training) suggests that new entrants to the labour market have been the most affected by the current recession.
23 December 2010: Inequalities continue to blight workplaces despite anti-discrimination legislation (Ireland / Information update)
A new book, ‘Making equality count’, concludes that despite Irish and EU legislation outlawing discrimination, inequalities between groups appear to be an enduring feature of Irish and European societies. Accurately measuring discrimination is a crucial yet challenging task. The book showcases Irish and international research on inequality, and on discrimination as a contributor to that inequality, highlighting advances in the measurement of discrimination.
08 November 2010: Stark pessimism among working age population (Greece / Information update)
Surveys of employed and unemployed people in Greece carried out by V-Project Research Consulting in February and May 2010 found much pessimism about the country’s current and future economic situation. Respondents’ personal economic situation had worsened between the surveys, with many feeling at risk of poverty and having a sense of insecurity. Long-term unemployment and the high proportion of economically dependent workers are particular problems in Greece.
08 November 2010: Attitudes of public sector employees towards private sector careers (Lithuania / Information update)
Social and market research company Macroscope carried out a survey in late 2009 to assess various aspects of working conditions in the public sector in Lithuania and to sound out the attitudes of public sector employees towards career opportunities in the private sector. The findings revealed that Lithuanian public sector employees would prefer private sector careers on a number of criteria and that around two fifths would agree to move to the private sector.
24 September 2010: Transitions from low-paid employment (Austria / Information update)
According to a recent analysis of employment progression in the private sector in Austria, moving from low-paid employment into more highly paid jobs is uncommon and subject to significant gender differences. This is mainly due to Austria’s highly gender-segregated labour market. Male non-nationals had a slightly higher chance of moving from low-paid employment into higher paid jobs than male nationals; female non-nationals had an even lower chance than female nationals.
24 September 2010: Rising numbers of temporary employees and independent contractors (Netherlands / Information update)
The use of temporary employment contracts is a well-used labour market strategy in the Netherlands. Employers use them to explore the suitability of employees and temporary employees are often entrants to the labour market. In some sectors, organisations prefer to hire independent contractors who are generally highly motivated. Numbers of independent contractors and those on temporary contracts has been increasing since 1983, in absolute as well as relative terms.
17 September 2010: Gender pay differences still widespread in the labour market (Denmark / Information update)
A Danish study that investigated gender pay differences has revealed that the gender gap in wages is not on the brink of closing. Although the gap is partly due to the different employment characteristics of men and women, a significant proportion of the difference is not explainable by factors open to statistical inquiry. In the labour market as a whole, the difference in hourly earnings is 14.2% or 17.7% in favour of men depending on the choice of calculation method.
17 August 2010: Failures of vocational training (Hungary / Information update)
The benefits of education in the labour market have been growing steadily and significantly since the regime change in Hungary in 1989. One exception is the decline in wage returns for vocational qualifications. Despite a sizeable demand for well-trained workers in several areas, the unemployment rate among skilled workers is high and many are forced into unskilled jobs. One reason is the low quality and lack of evolution of their vocational and educational training.
17 August 2010: Economic motives for migration of professionals to western Europe remain significant (Czech Republic / Information update)
Economic motives for professionals to migrate from the Czech Republic to selected western European countries (Austria, Germany, Ireland, UK) were analysed for 2000–2007. Despite the growth in the Czech economy, average salaries in western Europe stayed two to three times higher; the purchasing power parity of professionals’ salaries also remained higher. The motivation for migration became weaker, but differences in earnings continued to support the ‘brain drain’.
02 August 2010: Young people, employment and training (Spain / Information update)
The impact of the current Spanish economic crisis has been harder on young people. A precarious labour market and high unemployment among young people seem to be determining factors for this vulnerability. Also problematical is Spain’s larger proportion of early school leavers compared with other Member States, together with the need to develop a national vocational education and training system based on the real demands of companies and the productive system.
14 July 2010: Level of migration increases in Hungary (Hungary / Information update)
The extent of migration has increased in Hungary over the past 20 years with the opening up of the country’s borders after the economic and political regime change. Since then, a large number of studies have been conducted to explore the various dimensions and aspects of migration in Hungary. The majority of migrants are ethnic Hungarians from neighbouring countries. It is estimated that about 30% of undeclared work is carried out by foreign workers.
09 July 2010: Migrant women workers receive less pay than men (Italy / Information update)
An investigation by the Italian national social security institute (INPS) found a notable increase during the 2000s in the number of migrants in Italy carrying out domestic work. Although the figures provided only go up to 2004, the INPS report highlights the significant increase in migrant women in the Italian labour market and the various pressures leading to the sometimes much lower pay earned by women migrants in regular employment.
01 July 2010: New outlook for occupational risk trends (Denmark / Information update)
A new report published by the Danish Working Environment Authority provides an outlook for occupational risk trends for the period 2010 to 2020. The report emphasises that occupational risks should not be considered as changing abruptly but rather as evolving gradually. According to the report, the main working environment issues to be addressed in the labour market as a whole are psychosocial and musculoskeletal risk exposure together with work-related accidents.
23 June 2010: High levels of employment discrimination against Roma population (Hungary / Information update)
It is estimated that 6%–7% of the Hungarian population are Roma, whose employment rate significantly lags behind the respective indicators of the non-Roma population. A complex set of factors lies behind the exclusion of the Roma population from the labour market, including a generally low level of education, regional segregation, effects of the economic transition and discrimination by employers, which many studies have highlighted.
01 June 2010: Survey reveals scale of hidden economy (Bulgaria / Information update)
A study conducted in 2007–2008 found that the size of the hidden economy in Bulgaria is considerably larger than official estimates. The economic sector with the largest hidden economy is construction, followed closely by wholesale and retail trade. The two most important indicators of the hidden economy are hidden labour and hidden economic activity by companies. Overall, 10.1% of employees have no contract, while 31.8% are hired on a contract with ‘hidden clauses’.
01 June 2010: Recession impacts negatively on labour market (Estonia / Information update)
The effects of the economic recession on the Estonian labour market remain high. An analysis by Statistics Estonia has reviewed the impact of the current economic situation and changes in the economy on the labour market. The analysis paid special attention to unemployment and identified sectors and groups that are most vulnerable to potential unemployment. Some recommendations have been outlined to tackle these effects on the labour market.
24 May 2010: Flexibility in contract arrangements but employment activation ineffective (Luxembourg / Information update)
The concept of flexicurity originated from the aim to find a balance between labour market flexibility and social security. The European Commission identifies four key components: flexible and reliable contractual arrangements; lifelong learning; active labour market policies; and modern social security systems. In Luxembourg, flexible arrangements are well established, whereas employment activation has been a controversial topic, according to study results.
04 May 2010: Effects of economic crisis on women in labour market (Spain / Information update)
The current economic crisis is having a profound impact from a gender perspective on the traditional Spanish labour market model, as women are currently assuming a more active role in comparison to their male counterparts. The traditional socioeconomic model in the country is being undermined, with changing economic activity rates, female employment proving to be less vulnerable to the crisis and higher unemployment growth among men.
23 April 2010: More measures needed to attract people to teaching (Belgium / Information update)
Teachers are often stereotyped as complaining about their job. Research shows, however, that they are relatively satisfied with their job. Moreover, the number of teachers who quit their job is relatively low. Nevertheless, the education sector has found it difficult to attract new people to the teaching profession. These are among the results of a comprehensive study on the teaching profession, based on focus group interviews and secondary analysis of data.
23 April 2010: Young people and labour market entry (Romania / Information update)
A survey on the entry of young people to the labour market, carried out by the National Institute of Statistics as a complementary module of the Household Labour Force Survey in the second quarter of 2009, reveals that the rate of labour market entry for persons aged 15–34 years who left education was 24.4% in the first six months and 33.6% one year after leaving education. The figures reveal differences according to level of education, gender and area of residence.
09 April 2010: Spotlight on undeclared work in 10 sectors (Greece / Information update)
A field study carried out in 2007 in 10 sectors of the Greek economy explores the prevalence and nature of undeclared work in the country. The study is based on questionnaire results, interviews and data from the Social Insurance Institute. Given the lack of systematic data collection on this issue, the study gives an interesting insight into the extent of undeclared work in the Greek economy.
09 April 2010: New insights into gender inequalities at work (Germany / Information update)
Policies and practices of gender equality promotion at the workplace show insufficient results, according to the findings of a study by the Hans-Boeckler Foundation. The study, published in January 2010, is considered one of the most comprehensive pieces of research on gender gaps at establishment level in Germany to date. It concludes that not only management, but also works councils and trade unions, fall short in promoting gender equality in practice.
31 March 2010: Pathways to regular employment (Italy / Information update)
The project ‘In regola’ examines a wide range of good practices aiming to combat undeclared work and low health and safety provisions at company level. The most successful good practices devised by the social partners at company and especially at regional level jointly counter such issues. Strong regional differences are found. The existence of organised crime is a complicating factor in the effort to regularise employment and working conditions.
31 March 2010: Sick leave and fear of losing one’s job (Sweden / Information update)
A survey conducted in 2009 by the Swedish Association of Occupational Health and the Swedish Extended Performance Satisfaction Index investigates employees’ attitudes towards future employment from a health perspective. The survey concludes that 7.8% of all employees are worried about losing their job within the next two years due to poor health. For employees on long-term sick leave, the proportion is 37.3%.
31 March 2010: Gender gap in Danish labour market is narrowing (Denmark / Information update)
Over the past decade, there has been an evident trend towards more gender equality in the Danish labour market. Regarding education, labour market participation and, to some degree, managerial positions, part-time working and the uptake of maternity or paternity leave, the gender gap is narrowing. However, differences in pay and occupational patterns of men and women may still be considered striking.
22 March 2010: Trends in employment and job quality in Flanders over 25 years (Belgium / Information update)
The Flemish government has published for the first time an outline of the ‘social state’ of the region, summarising the main trends over the last 25 years. With regard to the field of work, the report concludes that the rate of employment and entrepreneurship has increased. In addition, a stable regime of labour conditions and industrial relations is found; however, the study identified a polarising trend in job quality related to a skill-segmented labour market.
12 March 2010: Role of temporary work in company recruitment (Luxembourg / Information update)
A survey conducted on behalf of the Ministry of Labour and Employment in 2007 shows that temporary work is an important recruitment channel for companies in Luxembourg. Between 2004 and early 2007, 42% of enterprises which had recruited stated that they had used temporary workers. About 15% of these companies do so all or nearly all of the time, while 46% do so from time to time and 39% rarely do so.
08 March 2010: Spotlight on informal employment (Romania / Information update)
In July 2008, the Development Centre of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development published a report on informal employment and its different forms in Romania, based on data analysis. It also looks at the characteristics of people in informal employment and the economic sectors where such employment is most prevalent. The study presents policy options and measures to deal with informal employment especially for vulnerable groups of workers.
05 February 2010: Effects of economic crisis on labour market (Greece / Information update)
An analysis by the Labour Institute of the Greek General Confederation of Labour focuses on the impact of the economic crisis on the Greek labour market. It appears that the economic crisis has mostly affected men in regular paid employment in the private sector, particularly in the construction and manufacturing sectors. The crisis has also led to a significant increase in part-time employment, as well as a marginal increase in self-employment.
18 January 2010: Emigration loses its appeal for young Bulgarians (Bulgaria / Information update)
A survey conducted in late 2008 on migration attitudes in Bulgaria revealed that in the last nine years the proportion of young people intending to emigrate on a permanent basis has decreased from 64% to 38%. The number of persons considering working abroad for a short time has also declined. The profile of young Bulgarian migrants is changing. Mainly young people with primary and secondary-level education express a higher interest in emigrating.
08 January 2010: Positive attitude towards increase in employment of women (Lithuania / Information update)
Within the framework of the National Programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005–2009, the Women’s Issues Information Centre carried out an extended survey in 2009 examining the changes in the situation of women and men in all areas of life. The survey focused on changes in attitudes towards women’s labour market participation since 1994. The findings show a dramatic increase in the number of people recognising an equal right to work for women and men.
07 December 2009: Effects of economic crisis on labour market (Estonia / Information update)
An analysis by Statistics Estonia focuses on the impact of the economic crisis on the Estonian labour market. The current situation regarding unemployment and use of active and passive labour market policy measures are discussed, while proposals for further policy developments are outlined. The unemployment rate in Estonia has risen steeply and to deal with its consequences immediate action should be taken.
07 December 2009: Working conditions of non-standard workers (Spain / Information update)
The Spanish National Health and Safety at Work Institute has conducted a study shedding light on the working conditions of certain groups of workers, including self-employed workers, those who are not registered with social security, migrant workers and workers on sick leave. Based on data from the Sixth National Survey on Working Conditions, the findings show that self-employed workers benefit of a lower risk profile than all of the other groups under examination.
20 November 2009: Working environment shown to play role in early retirement (Denmark / Information update)
A recent study confirms that the working environment plays a substantial role in the take-up of early retirement. The study, which examines the relations between working environment factors and early retirement, also uncovers considerable gender differences regarding the impact of working conditions on early retirement. However, neither the working environment nor other external factors fully explain why people opt for early retirement.
20 November 2009: Women workers make up majority of ‘700-euro generation’ (Greece / Information update)
A survey conducted on behalf of the Greek General Confederation of Labour outlines the profile of the ‘700-euro generation’, that is, workers with net monthly pay of less than €750. These are mainly women aged 18–24 years, who are not organised in trade unions, do not take part in strikes and work as paid employees in the private sector. The survey also found that economically dependent work is common among young workers in particular.
05 October 2009: Employers underline importance of well-being at work (Sweden / Information update)
The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise recently published a study seeking to examine employers’ perspectives on workers who are experiencing difficulties at work. The research highlights how workers who are dissatisfied with their job and unable to get on at work are particularly vulnerable during times of economic recession, especially in relation to the risk of long-term unemployment.
05 October 2009: International operations of companies and impact on workers (Austria / Information update)
Two interrelated studies, commissioned by the Austrian Chamber of Labour, analysed the impact of internationalisation and whether employees benefit from it, as well as the effects of the economic crisis on Austria’s top 300 companies. The first study found that a majority of companies stabilised or boosted employment due to internationalisation, but employees benefited little from the profits. The second study showed that 50% of the companies are feeling the full blow of the economic crisis.
05 October 2009: Working conditions and quality of life in Spanish workplaces (Spain / Survey data report [ or view as size 92 kb])
The Sixth National Survey on Working Conditions reveals that almost one quarter of workers consider that their work is affecting their health, and almost three quarters suffer from musculoskeletal disorders. In addition, 71% consider that they are exposed to some kind of risk in the workplace. In general, the most affected occupational groups from more demanding working conditions are healthcare staff, construction workers, farmers, drivers, stockbreeders and fishermen. On the other hand, the 2007 survey on Quality of Life in the Workplace shows that 70.6% of Spanish workers are either satisfied or very satisfied with their job. The survey also reveals that significant differences remain between the sexes in caring activities with children.
25 September 2009: Migrants subject to poor working and employment conditions (Spain / Information update)
According to a study by the Centre for the Research of Health at Work, work-related accidents in Spain are more common among migrant workers compared with Spanish workers. In addition, a large proportion of migrant workers reveal that they are exposed to precarious working and employment conditions that impact negatively on their health. Thus, work precariousness may also lead to social precariousness, adding to the disadvantaged position of migrants in Spanish society.
25 September 2009: Commuting patterns among Hungarian employees (Hungary / Information update)
A study was carried out to explore Hungarian workers’ commuting patterns and experience. The study examined the means of transport used, the duration of the travel, the distance between the workplace and home, and the commuting area. In addition, the survey explored demographic, occupational and sectoral aspects of commuting. Almost 95% of all employed people use some means of transport to get to their workplaces.
14 September 2009: Global crisis could reverse decline in hidden economy (Bulgaria / Information update)
The hidden economy continued its downward path in 2008, according to the latest regular survey of the Centre for the Study of Democracy. The study covers a period of seven years and is based on the methodology and surveys of Vitosha Research. In 2008, the hidden economy index had declined by 32% compared with 2002, due to a reduction in all of its components. However, there is a risk that the informal economy may expand again in the context of the global economic crisis.
01 September 2009: Significant increase in labour market participation of older workers (Spain / Information update)
In May 2009, the trade union research institute, Fundación 1º de Mayo, issued a study on the labour market participation rate of people aged 55–64 years and their career paths. It shows that the activity and employment rates of this population group have increased significantly in the past 10 years, although gender differences remain. The report identifies some of the main elements that influence the participation of this age group in the labour market.
29 July 2009: Study reveals discrimination against job applicants with non-Irish names (Ireland / Information update)
A recent study by the Economic and Social Research Institute found that job applicants with identifiably non-Irish names are less than half as likely to be called for interview as those with typical Irish names. The research, the first of its kind to be conducted in Ireland, found a similar level of discrimination against those with an identifiably African, Asian or German name. The study compared employers’ approach to applications from candidates of different ethnic or national origin.
29 July 2009: Barriers to the employment of disabled persons (Poland / Information update)
One of the key objectives of the National Cohesion Strategy is to increase the proportion of working age Polish people in active employment. This would be particularly desirable in the case of disabled people. Research results indicate, meanwhile, that the employment of disabled persons in Poland is hindered by a variety of factors, such as the growing cost of employing a disabled person and economical passivity among those who are unemployed.
10 July 2009: Impact of migrant workers on Cypriot labour force (Cyprus / Information update)
The Economic Research Centre of the University of Cyprus published a paper in December 2008 examining the impact of migration in the period 1999–2005 on the working age population. The findings show that the presence of migrant workers may affect different population groups in different ways, depending on factors such as people’s gender, age, level of education and sector of occupation.
16 June 2009: Improving labour market prospects for non-nationals (Estonia / Information update)
A study has been undertaken to assess the effectiveness of labour market projects targeted at non-nationals in Estonia. The projects were financed by the European Social Fund during the period 2004–2007. The objective was to analyse the projects’ measures, evaluate their effectiveness, describe positive and negative experiences, and assess their applicability to the national labour market policy.
11 May 2009: Impact of economic crisis on unemployed people (Spain / Information update)
Among unemployed people in Spain, those less qualified find it more difficult to get a job, even though they are willing to accept any kind of post. On the other hand, experienced and qualified unemployed people are currently not willing to accept a job in a lower occupational category. Meanwhile, jobs are becoming scarcer and the numbers unemployed continue to grow. By the end of 2008, Spain had an unemployment rate of almost 14%.
11 May 2009: Benchmarking Europe report analyses employment trends (EU Level / Information update)
The ‘Benchmarking working Europe’ report represents the European Trade Union Institute’s annual contribution to the EU spring summit in March. The study provides an assessment of progress towards meeting the targets of the Lisbon Strategy. Among the key trends noted in the 2009 report are labour market developments, including the growth of atypical forms of employment, as well as aspects of quality of work, lifelong learning and social cohesion.
04 May 2009: Occupational promotion of migrant workers (TRANS NATIONAL / Comparative analytical report [ or view as size 190 kb])
This report examines the situation regarding the occupational promotion of migrant workers in the EU Member States and Norway. Previous research has shown that migrant workers are frequently segregated into low-paid, unskilled and precarious employment. This report confirms this research, providing clear evidence of barriers to the occupational promotion of migrant workers – such as the prevalence of temporary employment, higher level of over-education, fewer training opportunities and poor recognition of qualifications among these workers. The second part of the report looks at some public polices and good practices which aim to foster the occupational promotion of migrant workers – including education and training programmes, and collective bargaining initiatives. The report points to the lack of well-documented cases of such practices, as well as the need for greater monitoring of these initiatives.
14 April 2009: Impact of economic crisis on job satisfaction (Austria / Information update)
Starting with the meltdown of the financial markets, the global economic crisis has reached the real economy. The latest wave of the Working Climate Survey shows how this development is perceived by employees in Austria. Optimism among employees regarding Austria’s economic future has declined, although many workers viewed positively the economic future of their company. Moreover, job satisfaction among workers with a migration background is relatively low.
14 April 2009: Career perspectives of young adults (Belgium / Information update)
Popular media and other sources tend to argue that young people today, driven by a quest for self-fulfilment, prefer a flexible career over a linear and stable one. However, a survey of young people in Belgium shows that the desire for a stable career is still strong. Moreover, many of the young people with a strong belief in a flexible career model shift towards either a traditional linear perspective or a flat and rigid perspective as they complete more life-course transitions.
02 April 2009: Assessing the nature and extent of undeclared work (Portugal / Information update)
A study carried out in 2003 in Portugal’s construction sector explored the prevalence of undeclared work. Taking national Employment Survey data and the opinions of key observers as a reference, the study estimates that non-declared work represents between 15% and 37% of total labour in the construction sector. The informal economy is particularly attractive to jobseekers with fewer skills, migrant workers and unemployed people.
25 March 2009: The occupational promotion of migrant workers: contribution from the Netherlands (Netherlands / National Contribution)
Based on two consecutive studies (the Netherlands Working Condition Survey (NEA), TNO), a review (Discrimination Monitor, SCP) and literature it is concluded that non-western migrants experience more labour market problems than western migrants. In general non-western migrants experience more discrimination in the workplace, recruitment and selection and (threatened) termination of the employment contract than western migrants. Non-western migrants appear to have less beneficial contractual relations compared to western migrants. Non-western migrants are more often low educated while western migrants are more often high educated. Western migrants make more use of training paid by the employer than non western migrants. Especially non-western men report that job and education/experience don’t match. For both migrant groups (western and non western) career advancements by in company shifts are more or less the same.
23 March 2009: Migrant workers found mainly in low-skilled occupations (Italy / Information update)
Non-national workers now represent 6% of the labour force in Italy and generally fill low-skilled jobs, despite the fact that they show educational levels comparable to those of Italian citizens. In particular, they have limited access to qualified jobs because the lack of family support and the strict requirements regarding work permits curtail the time available to search for better-qualified positions. Migrant workers tend to be concentrated in certain sectors and occupations.
16 March 2009: Workers have lower expectations for coming year (Spain / Information update)
A survey by the recruitment agency Adecco on workers’ expectations for 2009 reveals that 46.6% of Spanish workers think that the best work improvement would be a pay rise (although only 10.6% believe that they will get one), followed by flexible working hours (19.9%), and education and training (15.7%). Furthermore, employees’ commitment to the company is stronger than in the previous year, with punctuality being the top priority for workers in 2009.
23 February 2009: New research on call centre industry (Malta / Information update)
In 2008, the Employment and Training Corporation commissioned a study focusing on Malta’s growing call centre industry. The study aimed to gain a better insight into the current state of the industry in terms of employment and skills requirements. It also includes a special focus on the industry in the Maltese island of Gozo. The study encompasses a range of findings – including on type of employment contracts, remuneration levels and extent of staff turnover.
04 February 2009: Job quality for foreign workers (Czech Republic / Information update)
A recent study highlights differences in the reasons for hiring foreigners for manual and non-manual jobs in the Czech Republic. While demand for manual foreign workers is driven by a shortage of Czech workers willing to accept the wages offered, demand for non-manual foreign workers is mainly due to a lack of Czech workers with the required qualifications. Thus, diverse strategies are used to attract foreign employees, which impact on their quality of work.
04 February 2009: Job retention law leads to unwanted side-effects (Luxembourg / Information update)
The Law of 25 July 2002 on work incapacity and returning to work sought to increase job retention in Luxembourg, an issue which mainly concerns older workers. However, recent research has found that the first few years of its application have not contributed to the achievement of European and national targets. Instead, it has resulted in an increase in people claiming benefits and jobseekers, thus leading to a rise in ‘broad unemployment’.
19 January 2009: Study reveals significantly higher gender pay gap (Malta / Information update)
A study commissioned by the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE) concluded that the gender pay gap in Malta amounted to 23.25%, which is substantially higher than the findings of the National Statistics Office, which set the pay gap at only 3.6%. The NCPE study observed that the pay gap is persisting largely due to women’s domestic and childcare responsibilities, but also as a result of occupational segregation and discrimination.
13 January 2009: Barriers to labour market for people with disabilities (Spain / Information update)
A recent study on the Spanish labour market shows that people with disabilities find it more difficult to get a job than those without disabilities. Employers that are the most satisfied with and best at integrating persons with disabilities are those that have already worked with people in this group. In most cases, disabled people occupy positions with a lowlevel of responsibility and which do not require a qualification.
22 December 2008: Labour market outcomes of migrant women in Europe (EU Level / Information update)
A new study, published in October 2008, finds that the labour market participation rates of migrant women differ between groups of Member States, particularly for third-country migrant women. The study also finds that the age of the migrant woman’s youngest child and how recently she has arrived in the receiving country affects participation rates. It recommends a multi-dimensional approach to tackling migrant women’s exclusion from the labour force.
24 November 2008: Large income variation among workers in personal services sector (France / Information update)
In 2006, some 1.6 million workers in France were directly employed by individuals in personal services. On average, these workers have 2.2 employers. Their hourly wages are relatively similar: 80% of the workers earn between €6.30 and €9.40 an hour. However, as the number of hours worked varies considerably, the total wages received in 2006 are spread on a large scale: 10% of the workers earned less than €141 and 10% earned more than €8,782.
16 October 2008: Economic downturn impacts most on migrant workers (Spain / Information update)
The Spanish labour market is currently experiencing an economic downward trend, resulting in increasing unemployment rates. Foreign workers are particularly affected by this negative situation, as they are mainly employed in the economic sectors and occupations most hit by increasing unemployment. Promoting self-employment initiatives among foreign workers is seen as a possible solution to overcoming this problem.
06 October 2008: Bogus self-employment found to be on the rise (Czech Republic / Information update)
A recent survey estimates that the economic activity of 100,000 self-employed workers in the Czech Republic bears the marks of bogus self-employment. Although these workers are legally self-employed, such jobs include no managerial or proprietary tasks. The rise of this phenomenon is mainly attributed to more favourable tax benefits for employers, a desire to transfer internal activities and business risks onto subcontractors, and entrepreneurial concepts based on cheap labour.
24 September 2008: ETUC report gives state of play of the world of work in Europe (EU Level / Information update)
‘Benchmarking working Europe’ is an annual publication by the European Trade Union Confederation and its research institute which aims to deliver an overall picture of the world of work at European level and in the different EU Member States. The report examines a range of topics including employment, youth unemployment, wage developments, social protection, worker participation, corporate social responsibility, corporate governance and social dialogue.
15 September 2008: Workers with disabilities express high job satisfaction (Denmark / Information update)
A report by the Danish National Centre for Social Research on people with disabilities reveals that such persons are just as satisfied with their working conditions as people without a disability, although they have a lower sense of job security. The report summarises the results of an extensive study on people with disabilities, their working conditions and the possibilities of increasing the employment rate of persons with disabilities.
15 September 2008: Europeans pessimistic about prospects for future regarding jobs and pay (EU Level / Information update)
A Eurobarometer survey shows that almost half of the respondents believe that in 20 years’ time they will be worse off than today. Fears for the future centre on the inability to get good jobs and the likelihood of lower earnings, together with widespread assumptions that working life will be extended. Confidence in the future is higher in the new Member States. Meanwhile, respondents predict a narrowing of the gap in equal opportunities between men and women at work.
03 September 2008: Women still underrepresented in senior positions (Cyprus / Information update)
The Statistical Service of Cyprus has published a report entitled ‘The statistical portrait of women in Cyprus’. The research outlines the status of women in Cypriot society at present and in recent years, giving statistical data for a broad range of issues such as participation in the labour force and representativeness in public life. Although women’s labour market participation has grown, the study reveals that wide gender gaps can still arise, particularly in senior positions.
20 August 2008: Problems filling vacancies in Lithuanian companies (Lithuania / Information update)
In 2006, the Institute of Labour and Social Research conducted a survey on labour force demand and the problems of filling vacancies in Lithuanian companies. The questionnaire-based survey of employers in the capital city, Vilnius, aimed to identify specific problems in this regard. The findings revealed that the main reasons for vacancies not being filled include low wages, insufficient practical skills and qualifications of jobseekers, as well as emigration.
08 August 2008: Use and abuse of non-standard employment contracts (Italy / Information update)
A survey based on the results of the 2006 Participation, Labour, Unemployment Survey (Plus), carried out by the Vocational Training Development Agency in Italy, investigated the reasons for using non-standard employment contracts. By mapping over 40 types of employment contracts resulting from the 2003 labour market reform, the survey reveals that a large proportion of fixed-term and freelance contracts are used when a standard employment contract would be more appropriate.
08 August 2008: Problem of undeclared wages on the rise (Estonia / Information update)
A recent study in Estonia concluded that, although the payment of undeclared wages declined during 2002–2006, it increased again in 2007. Nevertheless, the general attitude towards undeclared wages remains negative. The main economic sectors involved in undeclared wages are the construction and services sectors. Young people, non-Estonians, men and low-income households are particularly vulnerable to receiving such payments.
08 August 2008: Employment experiences of Bulgarian migrant workers (Bulgaria / Information update)
A survey of Bulgarian return migrants – people who had left Bulgaria to work abroad and later returned home – sheds light on their sociodemographic profile and employment experience abroad. It finds that most return migrants are men and under the age of 45 years, with at least a secondary education. Most leave Bulgaria with a job already arranged in the host country, typically in economic sectors such as agriculture, transport, tourism or construction.
17 July 2008: Low income levels of immigrant women (Greece / Information update)
A study carried out by the Research Centre for Gender Equality on the labour market status of immigrant women in Greece indicates that a large number of these women are employed without social insurance in low-paid, unskilled jobs. The study reveals that their length of residence in the country has no significant effect on the type of job they perform. Most immigrant women currently work as cleaners, domestic workers or babysitters.
17 July 2008: No easy transition from education into employment (Slovenia / Information update)
A year after completing education, about 80% of young Slovenians are in employment. However, this proportion was just 70% for those who had only a secondary school level of education. The main reasons for difficulties in the transition from school to work relate to insufficient job vacancies and a mismatch between labour supply and demand. Almost half of employed persons aged 15–24 years are on fixed-term contracts, a much higher proportion than for the total employed population.
07 July 2008: Annual review of working conditions in the EU 2007–2008 (TRANS NATIONAL / Comparative analytical report [ or view as size 1495 kb])
This fifth annual review examines four key dimensions of working conditions and quality of work and employment: career development and employment security, health and well-being, skills and competence development, and work–life balance. The report outlines relevant legislative and policy developments, and examines trends in the workplace during the period 2007-2008.
01 July 2008: Negative attitudes of employers and labour market discrimination (Sweden / Information update)
In 2008, the Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation (IFAU) published a study on the negative attitudes and stereotypesof employers and students towards Arab-Muslim men and obese individuals. The study’s findings reveal that employers have more negative attitudes towards Arab-Muslim men than Swedish men, and that they associate this population group as well as obese persons with a lower work performance.
25 June 2008: Impact of emigration on labour supply in domestic labour market (Poland / Information update)
Following Poland’s accession to the European Union, the effects of mass emigration by Polish workers are increasingly felt in the Polish labour market. In a study on ‘Worker migration – opportunities or threats’ published in 2007, more than half of the employers surveyed stated that they had lost employees who chose to pursue careers abroad. The most serious labour shortages are among manufacturing personnel and qualified technical staff.
25 June 2008: Integration of university graduates in labour market (Greece / Information update)
A Greek national survey has examined the extent to which graduates have found jobs and the degree to which unemployment is a problem for them five to seven years after graduating. The survey also considered the quality of integration of those who have found work, in terms of job security and individual preferences, and the process of transition from education to employment. More than four out of five graduates were found to be working at the time of the study.
25 June 2008: Women’s participation in labour market remains unequal (Bulgaria / Information update)
A survey by the Institute for Social and Trade Union Research on women in the labour market in 2007 reveals continuing gender gaps in terms of employment and pay, as well as professional and occupational segregation. The study finds that over 60% of persons unemployed are women, most of whom are long-term unemployed. As ‘shared parenthood’ is uncommon in Bulgaria, an asymmetry emerges regarding work–life balance which affects transitions in the labour market.
19 June 2008: Overcoming the low skills profile in Portugal (Portugal / Information update)
A recent study on workers’ skills levels and education concludes that Portugal is in a low-skill situation. The country is an exception in an international context regarding the labour market demands of a knowledge-based economy. The study concludes that the continuing low-skilled profile of the economically active population, as well as the education system’s incapacity to halt an early dropout from school, are the country’s main limitations in this respect.
19 June 2008: Migration intentions of young professionals (Romania / Information update)
A report from the National Observatory for Employment and Vocational Training, published in May 2007, finds a high level of dissatisfaction among young Romanian workers about their current employment and earning opportunities. Over a quarter of young people aged 18–24 years consider moving abroad to improve their employment prospects, while also being aware of both the positive and negative aspects of such a move.
11 June 2008: Factors determining early exit from employment (Malta / Information update)
A qualitative research study carried out by the Employment and Training Corporation in 2007 evaluated the factors influencing individuals’ decisions to exit employment before reaching the statutory retirement age. The study was conducted among 30 men aged 55–60 years who were neither working nor registering for work at the time of the study. Poor working conditions were found to be among the main factors pushing older workers out of employment earlier than expected.
11 June 2008: Inspections find numerous cases of illegal work (Slovakia / Information update)
In the second half of 2007, the Slovak National Labour Inspectorate conducted inspections at over 2,400 workplaces to monitor whether workers were being employed illegally. It found over 650 cases of illegal work, a figure which has remained almost unchanged compared with the same period for 2006. The main legal infringements detected were failures to report employment for social insurance purposes and to provide employment contracts. The economic sectors most affected were wholesale and retail trade, and hotels and restaurants.
03 June 2008: Transnational nature of temporary agency work (Luxembourg / Information update)
The number of temporary agency workers has risen steadily in Luxembourg since 1999. This development can be explained by the increasingly cyclical and seasonal nature of labour demand, which is also observable in other countries. Temporary agency work reflects the country’s upwards trend in employment, but at a much faster pace. Cross-border workers often participate in this form of work, and external companies frequently source their workers in Luxembourg.
03 June 2008: Research shows fewer Estonians willing to migrate for work (Estonia / Information update)
Research concluded in 2006 on migration attitudes revealed that about 36,000 people of working age may potentially migrate to work abroad, representing 3.9% of Estonia’s working age population. Mainly young people and those with secondary-level education expressed an interest in working abroad, mostly in Finland or the United Kingdom. The most promising economic sectors mentioned in terms of employment are construction as well as hotels and restaurants.
03 June 2008: Significant gap between students’ employment expectations and reality (Cyprus / Information update)
A recent study by the Economics Research Centre at the University of Cyprus investigates students’ expectations regarding their future employment and salary, in addition to graduates’ opportunities to participate in the labour market and their actual salaries. The findings show that students hold both unrealistic and realistic expectations in these respects. The study discusses policy recommendations for achieving a better match between expectations and reality.
19 May 2008: Gender career gap linked to wage gap between men and women (Belgium / Information update)
The Gender Yearbook 2007 raises awareness of the career gap between women and men as an important driver of the existing gender wage gap in the Flanders region in Belgium. These career gaps can to a large extent be explained by educational segregation between sexes and how the transition from school to labour market is made. Low-skilled women are particularly vulnerable in this regard.
09 May 2008: Lack of qualified childcare staff linked to poor working conditions (Finland / Information update)
A recent survey by the Association of Kindergarten Teachers in Finland reveals that the shortage of qualified kindergarten teachers is becoming increasingly acute. Almost a quarter of child day-care centre directors report serious difficulties in finding qualified candidates, even for permanent jobs. It is feared that a deterioration of day-care services will negatively influence the employment of mothers of small children and increase inequality between families.
09 May 2008: Study reveals ethnic discrimination in recruitment of young workers (France / Information update)
A study organised in six major French cities, under the supervision of the International Labour Organization, shows significant discrimination towards young workers of black or north African origin. Most of the discrimination is observed during the recruitment process, at the stage before the employer first meets the candidate for an interview. Moreover, the findings show that men with these ethnic origins are more discriminated against than women.
30 April 2008: Economic activity and earnings of women (Poland / Information update)
In a publication issued in December 2007, the Central Statistical Office for Poland sets out comprehensive results – with international comparisons – of research on the participation and position of women in social and economic life. The data concerning the economic activity of women and their incomes are of particular interest. Women represent 60% of the economically inactive population in Poland, while working women earn significantly less than men.
30 April 2008: Study highlights different career paths of women (Luxembourg / Information update)
In March 2000, the Lisbon European Council set itself the target of boosting employment, notably by increasing the rate of employment among women to 60% by 2010. By 2003, the rate of women’s employment in the EU stood at 56%; however, in Luxembourg it was only 52%. To facilitate an increase in this level, research analysis sought to gain a better understanding of the labour market by examining the patterns of career development among women.
21 April 2008: Survey examines labour market situation of migrants (Bulgaria / Information update)
The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee has published a report on the rights and labour market position of migrants in Bulgaria, based on a survey carried out in 2006. Their employment rate (73.8%) is considerably higher than the national average. Some 52.5% of working migrants hold employment contracts, while 23.6% are self-employed and 22.2% have no formal contract. Up to 10% of working migrants report discrimination regarding access to the labour market.
07 April 2008: Labour market participation of older people (Greece / Information update)
A recent study by the Empeiria Development Partnership examines the participation of people aged 55–64 years in the Greek labour market in the period between 1993 and 2004. Despite an increase in the labour force as a whole over the period under examinatione, the share of workers in the 55–64 age group declined. The study also makes an initial investigation of the impact of an expected increase in the number of people in this age group.
03 April 2008: Employment trends of mothers (Hungary / Information update)
Recent research on employment trends among mothers in Hungary looks at their employment rate, whether they work part time or full time and attitudes to their employment. Due to the relatively generous childcare benefit system, and also the lack of high-quality childcare for younger children, the majority of mothers with children under the age of three years choose not to work. However, about half of all mothers return to full-time work after the third birthday of their youngest child.
17 March 2008: Factors determining rate of employee turnover in companies (Lithuania / Information update)
A survey conducted in Lithuania in 2007, at the request of the Lithuanian Labour Exchange, sought to identify factors determining employee turnover in companies. The survey found that pay and working conditions are key factors influencing the rate of staff turnover. Moreover, the survey concluded that employers give a more positive evaluation of working conditions and career opportunities for personnel in their enterprises than do employees.
17 March 2008: Generational differences in attitudes towards work (Hungary / Information update)
A recent international study set out to explore the generational aspect of people’s relationship to work in six EU countries, including Hungary. Interviews and focus groups were used to examine the differences between age groups in their attitude towards work through identifying various types of participation in the world of work. A research team attempted to highlight changes that have occurred as a result of Hungary’s transition to a market economy.
18 February 2008: Managing the transition from work to retirement (Poland / Information update)
In 2007, the Central Statistical Office published an analysis of the module survey on ‘Transition from work into retirement’, which is based on Labour Force Survey data from the second quarter of 2006. The analysis focuses on the characteristics of people receiving pensions, including their employment rate and level of education. Some of the respondents highlight the lack of flexibility in working life as a factor discouraging them from continuing in a professional capacity.
11 February 2008: Conflicting trends in women’s labour market participation rates (France / Information update)
According to a recent analysis of Labour Force Survey data, since the beginning of the 1970s, the activity rate of French women has increased by 25 percentage points, from 50% in 1970 to 75% in 2000. Over the same period, however, their unemployment rate has also risen from 3% to 12%, and the proportion of women working part time has increased from 13% to 30%. Regardless of these increases, the gender gap in the activity rate has been diminishing.
04 February 2008: Young migrant workers and the labour market (Austria / Information update)
A survey by the Austrian Institute for Youth Research on young migrants reveals specific forms of discrimination concerning education on the one hand and the employment situation on the other hand. Young migrants from Turkey or the former Yugoslavia tend to work in certain economic sectors and to be blue-collar workers. In addition, they are more likely to be unemployed and to encounter difficulties in finding a job.
04 February 2008: Report signals employment challenges in the EU despite continuing economic growth (EU Level / Information update)
The ‘Employment in Europe 2007’ report identifies strong economic growth within Member States, accompanied by significant challenges in raising employment rates. It addresses topics high on the European Union’s employment policy agenda, including issues of age, flexicurity, vocational training and labour income share. This article focuses mainly on age and flexicurity, areas of interest which are particularly topical in relation to working conditions.
04 February 2008: Occupational mobility of migrants (France / Information update)
A study by the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies into the situation of migrant workers in the labour market reveals that migrants are more often unemployed in comparison to non-migrants. Moreover, they also have fewer chances to benefit from promotion than non-migrant workers, in addition to facing more often the risk of downward occupational mobility.
29 January 2008: Study reveals gap in labour market supply and demand (Latvia / Information update)
A recent study reveals serious gaps in the supply and demand of labour. On the supply side, a decline in the overall population, including those of working age, is observed, while the age and gender structure is unbalanced. On the demand side, the economy’s transformation from an industry-based to a service-based structure requires a new quality workforce. Employers will have to plan for a future with fewer workers available.
29 January 2008: Employment trends in low-skilled jobs (Germany / Information update)
In the spring of 2007, a conference organised by the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation addressed the issue of employment in low-skilled jobs. Research findings indicate that both the decline of these jobs and of low-skilled workers has come to an end. While labour market policies expect low-skilled workers to take up ‘simple’ jobs, these workers increasingly face competition by workers overqualified for this type of job.
21 January 2008: Inequality and discrimination in employment (Hungary / Information update)
Although nobody contests the principle of equal treatment in Hungary, its implementation in the workplace seems to be imperfect at best. Recent data reveal that in Hungary women and older people suffer the most cases of discrimination at work; however, discrimination against Roma, as well as people with disabilities, seems to be most entrenched.
21 January 2008: Link between negative work environment and risk of exclusion (Denmark / Information update)
The shortage of labour is a much debated issue in Denmark. A study shows that a poor work environment is closely associated with labour market exclusion, and that the work environment factors that can cause exclusion are unevenly spread. In particular, strained work postures, degree of influence over work, poor development opportunities and heavy lifting are factors that can lead to exclusion. Promoting a better work environment is therefore essential in order to prevent exclusion.
14 January 2008: Permanent and temporary employment in public and private sectors (Greece / Information update)
A study by the Institute of Labour of the Greek General Confederation of Labour and Confederation of Public Servants has noted an increase in the participation of permanent employees in the private sector of the economy. However, a large proportion of new entrants to the broader public sector are in temporary employment relationships. Overall, a tendency to narrow the gap between both sectors in terms of employment contracts has been observed.
14 January 2008: Factors motivating women in Malta to work (Malta / Information update)
The Employment and Training Corporation conducted a study among women to assess their motivation to work and the conditions encouraging them to start or continue working. The study involved three surveys among employed, registered unemployed and economically inactive women. Among the conditions that would entice them to start working or retain their job, women preferred a combination of family-friendly measures, fiscal arrangements and good working conditions.
08 January 2008: Trade unions push for law to protect temporary agency workers (Ireland / Information update)
In December 2007, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions mounted pressure on the Irish government to introduce domestic legislation providing equal treatment for temporary agency workers. The move followed a failure by EU ministers to reach agreement on the EU temporary agency workers’ directive in early December. However, the Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation opposes the trade union demand for equal pay in this regard.
21 December 2007: Labour market integration of women and low-skilled workers (EU Level / Information update)
In June 2007, the US Government Accountability Office published a study on other countries’ policies and practices aimed at helping women and low-skilled workers to enter and remain in the labour force; among the countries compared are six EU Member States. The study concludes that quality, preferably subsidised, childcare and paid parental leave have a real impact on women’s employment. However, training programmes for low-skilled workers showed little effect.
18 December 2007: Temporary agency work in Estonia (Estonia / Information update)
A recent study shows that temporary agency work is not widely used in Estonia. The issues of remuneration and holidays for temporary agency workers can be problematic. A lack of clarity is also evident regarding the division of standard employer responsibilities between the temporary work agency and the user company. The main economic sectors using temporary agency work are manufacturing, construction, and transport, storage and communications.
10 December 2007: Working conditions among Polish workers found to be substandard (Norway / Information update)
According to a recent survey carried out among Polish migrants in the Oslo area, significant disparities emerge between different groups of Polish workers. Posted workers and workers who operate in the illegal labour market are more often subject to substandard wages and working conditions. The situation is better for Poles within the legal labour market, although they are still paid less than Norwegians are.
10 December 2007: Flexicurity to feature on new social partnership agenda (Ireland / Information update)
The concept of flexicurity, which refers to the balance to be struck between labour market flexibility and worker security, is set to feature on the bargaining agenda for any new tripartite national agreement in Ireland in 2008. According to the social partners, the concept may be applied in the Irish labour market, with some ‘negotiated trade-offs’ possible in the area of continuous vocational training and lifelong learning, for example.
19 November 2007: Older workers’ attitudes towards working after retirement (Bulgaria / Information update)
A survey conducted in 2006 by the independent Sofia Consulting Group highlighted the factors influencing the decision of workers aged between 50 and 65 years to retire or continue working. The survey reveals that 45% of the respondents are willing to work, compared with 39% who prefer early retirement. About two thirds of the respondents stated that they intend to continue working after retirement.
29 October 2007: Companies evade law on making temporary agency workers permanent (Greece / Information update)
Temporary agency work has become more common in Greece, with a twofold increase in the number of such contracts between 2003 and 2004. However, certain discrepancies arise between agency workers and other employees, not least in terms of pay. Moreover, user companies are evading the law in relation to making agency workers permanent after a certain period. Research concludes that the statutory framework should be changed to improve the rights of these workers.
09 October 2007: Barriers to promotion for female managers (Spain / Information update)
The Centre for Sociological Research recently published a study analysing the factors that hinder Spanish female managers reaching senior management positions, according to the perceptions of female managers. In this respect, having children is perceived as one of the most significant barriers to pursuing a professional career, especially among the youngest managers.
09 October 2007: Women’s career span shorter by retirement age (Luxembourg / Information update)
A study analyses the gender differences in the total duration of active labour market participation among persons at retirement age in Luxembourg. Educational attainment and number of children have different effects on the careers of men and women. On average, 57–65 year old men have been employed for 38 years, compared with only 21 years for their female counterparts. The study concludes that more policies are needed to reconcile work and family responsibilities.
01 October 2007: Pilot scheme to aid redundant workers proves effective (Estonia / Information update)
Between 2005 and 2007, the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund piloted a new labour market service providing help for employees and employers in cases of collective redundancy. A recent evaluation of the service concludes that it improved the job prospects of those made redundant, thereby reducing the cost of unemployment benefits for this group. However, economic growth was strong during the period, which may have influenced the outcome.
27 August 2007: Gender pay gap decreasing but wide variations between sectors (Sweden / Information update)
In 2006, women’s wages increased more than men’s in all sectors except the public sector at municipal level. While there are signs therefore of a declining gender pay gap, sectoral wage differences remain considerable. The highest wages are found in the private sector among white-collar workers, while the lowest are recorded in the public sector at municipal level.
27 August 2007: Employer group urges companies to adopt diversity strategies (Ireland / Information update)
Responding to the rapid diversification of Ireland’s labour force, the country’s main employer representative, the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC), launched an initiative in June 2007 to encourage member organisations to adopt a strategic approach to diversity management. A recent IBEC seminar on the issue aimed to place diversity management high on the business agenda and to highlight how it can enhance productivity and innovation.
20 August 2007: Integrating young people into the labour market (Portugal / Information update)
The entry of young people into the labour market is becoming more complex and extended in time. Many young individuals are only partially integrated in the labour market through semi-formal, temporary or part-time work situations, while they would prefer to be fully integrated. A recent study has proposed the creation of more jobs, incentives to hire young people on permanent contracts and support for young entrepreneurs, among a series of recommendations.
13 August 2007: Boundaries of entrepreneurship and salaried work overlap (Finland / Information update)
Entrepreneurship and salaried work have traditionally been regarded as two different career paths in Finland. However, a recent study reveals that in some occupational groups the boundaries between these two occupations overlap. The work of freelance journalists, artists, translators and interpreters, for example, is typically characteristic of both entrepreneurship and salaried work. The study findings challenge the country’s educational, legislative and social security systems.
13 August 2007: Main drivers and obstacles in job mobility (Malta / Information update)
The Employment and Training Corporation (ETC) commissioned research on obstacles to job mobility. The study was conducted among unemployed persons who registered with ETC as well as those who used European employment services in Malta. Among the barriers identified were linguistic and cultural factors, legal and bureaucratic difficulties, and social issues. The main triggers for working abroad were better working conditions and better income.
13 August 2007: Employment patterns of female migrant workers (Greece / Information update)
It has proved difficult in practice for female immigrants living in Greece to acquire and renew residence permits, according to a study by the Greek General Confederation of Labour/Confederation of Public Servants. The main reasons for this are the requirements of the country’s statutory framework governing immigration and the fact that female immigrants are largely employed in sectors where undeclared work is widespread.
13 August 2007: Barriers to labour market integration of migrant workers (Ireland / Information update)
Recent studies examining the labour market impact of immigrants in Ireland highlight the possible existence of barriers to the job mobility and integration of migrant workers. Obstacles include non-recognition of qualifications and an occupational gap in the sense that immigrants are, on average, less likely to work in high-level, high-status occupations relative to Irish nationals. Some non-EU migrants are being displaced by migrants from the new EU Member States.
30 July 2007: Trends in labour migration between regions (Hungary / Information update)
Following the political and economic upheaval in 1989, Hungary’s labour market has undergone major changes resulting in massive unemployment. Since then, while many new jobs have been created in some areas of the country, the situation has worsened in other regions. A study published in 2006 looks at factors restricting worker mobility and outlines characteristics of internal migration. It suggests that large-scale migration could aggravate the economic situation in poorer regions.
30 July 2007: Rise in labour market participation of migrant workers (Slovenia / Information update)
Demands from employers for work permits for workers from outside the European Union, from so-called ‘third countries’, have increased substantially in the last two years. Such demands have risen largely in the construction sector and in metal manufacturing where it is difficult to attract domestic workers. The majority of foreign workers in Slovenia are from countries of the former Yugoslavia, are mostly men and have a low level of education.
16 July 2007: Towards more effective monitoring of the workplace (Greece / Information update)
The implementation of labour law in the workplace in Greece is not generally perceived to be adequately monitored. This shortcoming represents an important element of the labour market flexibility debate, which continues to divide political parties and stakeholders in the national industrial relations process. However, a 2005 study on the performance of the labour inspectorate shows that the reforms of recent years are having a positive effect.
02 July 2007: Fall in number of people on disability pension (Poland / Information update)
Poland has one of the highest rates of people of working age with an officially certified work incapacity in the EU. In recent years, however, a downward trend in the scale of disability benefits has been observed. Data on medical decisions concerning work incapacity sheds some light on the issue, while the public auditor points to the problems still present in social security policy regarding working disabilities.
02 July 2007: Rise in child labour raises concern (Bulgaria / Information update)
According to a national survey, child labour is increasing in Bulgaria. About 6.5% of children aged between five and 17 years work in the private sector, 32.3% are unpaid workers in the household and family-owned businesses, and 41.8% do some domestic work. Other sources confirm this trend. The General Labour Inspectorate issued twice as many work permits for underage workers in 2006 as in 2003.
25 June 2007: Human resource strategies in small enterprises (Lithuania / Information update)
A survey of newly-formed micro and small enterprises in Lithuania examined issues relating to the employment, training and motivation of employees. Employers often rely on personal recommendations when recruiting staff and most of the companies were satisfied with the skills and qualifications of their employees. Some 57% of small Lithuanian enterprises applied staff motivation measures.
25 June 2007: Financial incentives play strong role in motivating employees (Bulgaria / Information update)
An organisational survey on corporate attitudes carried out by the professional services company KPMG in early 2007 reveals the leading role of financial rewards and bonuses in motivating workers and increasing their commitment to the company they work for. Nevertheless, the combined influence of non-financial incentives, such as showing recognition to employees and seeking their opinions, is also an important factor influencing workers’ motivation.
25 June 2007: Variations in employment and education levels across regions (Greece / Information update)
A recent study by the Institute of Labour of the Greek General Confederation of Labour/Confederation of Public Servants has shown that the distribution of the educational levels of workers throughout the country reflects varied employment rates between the regions. The main finding is that regions with dense population have the highest percentage of university graduates, while sparsely populated regions mainly absorb workers with low levels of education.
11 June 2007: Employment situation of migrant women (Cyprus / Information update)
In 2006, the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies produced a shadow report to the Cypriot government’s report for the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The report’s basic findings included, among others, information on the integration of migrant women in the Cypriot labour force and on their working and living conditions. Furthermore, it highlighted some of the measures proposed for dealing with these issues.
31 May 2007: Employment and working conditions of migrant workers (TRANS NATIONAL / Comparative analytical report [ or view as size 1657 kb])
This report presents an overview of the employment and working conditions of migrant workers in the European Union. In most countries, migrant workers have higher unemployment rates and, when in employment, tend to be segregated in unskilled occupations and exposed to higher risks of over-qualification. Moreover, they experience considerable job insecurity, and the sectors and occupations where they are employed are characterised by less advantageous working conditions. Overall, women and young migrants are particularly vulnerable. Although there is increasing awareness of the crucial role played by migrant workers in the economic growth of countries, greater attention needs to be paid to their employment and working conditions.
31 May 2007: Employment and working conditions of migrant workers — Czech Republic (Czech Republic / National Contribution)
The share of migrants within ekonomic active population in the Czech Republic has been growing continuoustly since 1990.The most frequent nationalities in Czech labour market are Slovak, Ukrainians, Vietnamese and Polish. Basically there are two main groups of migrant workers with different legal conditions. First group consist of the EU/EEA/EFTA citizens who profit from free movement and who have mostly the status of employees. Second group create so called “third country nationals" whose position on labour marker is considerably worse. They are more often selfemployed without employyes compared to first mentioned group.
31 May 2007: Working and employment conditions of migrant workers – Sweden (Sweden / National Contribution)
The Swedish contribution to the comparative analytical report on migrant workers shows that migrant workers in Sweden are over represented among atypical work contracts and low-paid jobs. When compared with native Swedes, migrant workers more often have temporary employments, have fewer possibilities to find work that matches their level of formal education and have higher unemployment and lower salaries. Especially foreign-born from Asia and Africa are over-represented in the unemployment statistics and low-status occupations, however, Asians are also over-represented among self-employed. On a positive note there are no considerable differences in working time or sick leave between migrant workers and native Swedes. Also, there are some indications that foreign-born employees tend to express stress and psychological pressure as being less of a problem than native employees, though exposure to strenuous working postures is reported as a greater problem.
30 May 2007: Employment and working conditions of migrant workers – Spain (Spain / National Contribution)
Spain has traditionally been known as a country of emigrants. However, in the last decade, the country has experienced an unprecedented boom of immigration inflow.. In this way, immigrant population has risen from 1.37% of the total population in 1996 to 8.75% at the beginning of 2006. Economic reasons are the main driver for the immigration process, resulting in a higher activity rates than nationals and thus a higher proportion of foreign working people (10.4% of total employed population in 2005). Sectors with the higher internal percentage of foreign workers include construction and agriculture, an also personal services, hotels and restaurant shave a significant presence. However, foreign workers have jobs of a worse quality than nationals (longer hours, lower wages, etc.) and they are in general less satisfied with their jobs than average. A problem of overeducation for the occupations held is rather widespread. On the other hand, illegal immigration is closely linked to work in the underground economy, with even worse working conditions.
29 May 2007: Employment and working conditions of migrant workers – Finland (Finland / National Contribution)
Finland has traditionally been a country of emigration. Latest wave of emigration was to Sweden starting in 50’s and diminishing in 70’s. Today the immigrant population is growing slowly but constantly in Finland. Statistical portrait on foreigners and international immigration can be drawn from the population statistics. Analysis on working conditions of immigrants based on the general working conditions surveys is still limited due to small number of respondents with immigrant background in the data. However, some studies on living conditions of immigrants include also questions concerning their working conditions and position in the labour market. The vast majority of responses in this report is based on the results of these immigrants’ living conditions surveys.
21 May 2007: Low-wage labour artificially boosts economy (Cyprus / Information update)
In late March 2007, the Cyprus Labour Institute presented the main conclusions of the ‘Annual economic and employment outlook’ for 2006. The main objective of the report is to set out recommendations concerning the continued rapid growth of the Cyprus economy as well as social development. The report argues that technological and organisational modernisation of the production system has to become a priority to offset the currently high demand for cheap labour.
21 May 2007: Older workers view youth as a labour market asset (Czech Republic / Information update)
The majority of Czech workers are not concerned about losing their current job. However, if they were forced to look for a new job, a significant proportion of people believe that it would be more difficult for them to find a job equally as good as their present post. These are among the findings of a study conducted by the Public Opinion Research Centre of the Institute of Sociology in 2006.
14 May 2007: Low participation of women in the labour market (Cyprus / Information update)
In 2006, the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies produced a shadow report to the Cypriot government report for the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The report’s basic findings cover the labour force participation rate of women, gender pay issues and the unemployment rate among women, and include some measures proposed for dealing with these matters.
27 April 2007: More people working and fewer accidents at work (Poland / Information update)
The Polish Ministry of the Economy has published a report setting out data concerning economic activity and inactivity, job security and the social insurance system. It shows that the situation continues to improve with regard to combating unemployment, and it also examines the incidence of accidents in the workplace and resulting compensation claims. However, the continuing emigration of young, well-educated workers and the low average retirement age remain of particular concern.
23 April 2007: Impact of legislation on labour market flexibility and job security (Portugal / Information update)
A high degree of protection of permanent employment contracts and strong disincentives to move from unemployment into active employment are the two main factors negatively influencing labour market flexibility in Portugal.
16 April 2007: Impact of immigration on wage levels of Cypriot workers (Cyprus / Information update)
In 2006, the Economics Research Centre of the University of Cyprus carried out research which investigated the impact of immigration on the wages of Cypriot workers. It found that the employment of foreign workers affected the wages of national workers depending on the latter workers’ level of education: the more skilled and educated Cypriot workers were, the more they benefited financially from the presence of foreign workers. Conversely, the less skilled and educated the national workers were, the more negative the financial impact of immigration.
12 April 2007: Satisfaction levels high despite stress at work (Luxembourg / Information update)
Most employees appear to be satisfied with their working conditions, with certain variations according to the characteristics of the work and the worker, according to the most recent Living in Luxembourg socioeconomic panel survey. However, one in three workers report that they frequently feel stressed at work.
14 March 2007: Overall boost in employment levels (Romania / Information update)
The annual activity report of the National Employment Agency for 2005 indicated that the global objective of increasing the number of employed persons was exceeded. This was despite the fact that the targets set in terms of filling job vacancies were not reached in any single month. Moreover, the expenditure for active employment measures amounted to only 58% of the figure set by the national action plan for employment.
13 March 2007: Overall increase in wages but women still earn less than men (Cyprus / Survey data report [ or view as size 285 kb])
This report analyses the main results from national labour statistics for 2004 and from a survey conducted by the Cyprus Labour Institute (INEK) in 2005. Labour statistics 2004 outlines the general situation of workers and the workplace in Cyprus, and covers topics such as pay rates, working hours and occupational accidents. The study finds a persistent gender pay gap in the Cypriot labour market. The INEK survey examines job insecurity among young people and offers policy recommendations aimed at improving their situation.
02 March 2007: Work and employment in the creative industries (Austria / Information update)
Between July 2004 and January 2007, Joanneum Research and FORBA carried out a research project focusing on work and employment in selected subsectors of the ‘creative industries’ in the capital city, Vienna. The five subsectors examined were advertising, architecture, design (graphic, product and fashion), film, radio and video, and multimedia. As part of the project, a quantitative survey was carried out among 910 workers in Vienna’s creative industries.
19 February 2007: Occupational mobility on the increase (France / Information update)
In December 2006, the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) published an analysis of its surveys on education and professional qualification, focusing on occupational mobility among workers aged between 30 and 54 years. The analysis found that the occupational mobility of workers is most pronounced among those aged between 30 and 34 years, which partially reflects a compensation for the relegation of young workers in the first year of their careers. The upward mobility observed mainly concerns men and low-skilled workers, while downward mobility, which was almost non-existent in the 1980s, has become a more significant phenomenon among higher skilled workers and women since the end of the 1990s.
19 February 2007: Marginalised status of illegal migrant workers from eastern Europe (Belgium / Information update)
Based on intensive qualitative research, a doctoral thesis examines the working and living conditions of Polish and Bulgarian migrants residing illegally in Brussels. The author shows that economic migration creates a marginalised labour force – but not an impoverished underclass – of eastern Europeans in the capital city of Belgium.
19 February 2007: Immigrants benefit economy but experience poor working conditions (Spain / Information update)
Substantial immigration inflow is one of the most significant changes that has taken place in Spanish society in the last two decades, and this situation is also having positive effects on the country’s economy. However, immigrants tend to occupy poor quality jobs, mainly characterised by low qualification requirements, low wages, substandard working conditions and of a temporary or seasonal nature.
19 February 2007: EU employment report puts the spotlight on ‘flexicurity’ (EU Level / Information update)
As well as providing an annual review of labour market developments, the ‘Employment in Europe 2006’ report, published in October 2006, looks in detail at the topical social policy issue of flexicurity’. The report examines how some national labour markets are combining flexible contractual employment arrangements with the provision of improved security for employees through lifelong learning, active labour market policies and high levels of social protection.
19 February 2007: New strategy to integrate disabled people into employment (Norway / Information update)
The national mainstream employment support programme – Arbeid med bistand (AB) – provides support for the inclusion of disabled job seekers in the general labour market. An evaluation of the AB programme in 2003 found that the successful integration of disabled workers in the labour market relies on the ability of the vocational rehabilitation staff to cater for participants’ needs with a view to assisting them in finding and keeping a job.
05 February 2007: Employment rates of women and men with children (Finland / Information update)
Employment rates declined in Finland during the recession in the early 1990s. In recent years, the employment rate of fathers has almost returned to the level of the 1980s whereas mothers’ employment rates have not risen equally, according to the study ‘Mothers and fathers in the labour market 1989-2002/2003’. During the recession, mothers increasingly took advantage of home care leave, which allows the parent to stay at home until the child is three years old. This has been reflected in women’s lower employment rate since unlike the situation for parental leave, parents on home care leave are not counted as part of the labour force.
05 February 2007: Impact on economy of high number of foreign workers (Cyprus / Information update)
In December 2005, the Economics Research Centre at the University of Cyprus published a research paper on the ‘Economic Implications of Foreign Workers in Cyprus’. The paper examines the factors contributing to the increased employment of foreign workers in the Cypriot labour market, and the impact on the total domestic output of the economy and also on the output of individual sectors of activity.
05 February 2007: Impact of economic situation on employment prospects of young people (France / Information update)
Data collected since the 1970s on employment rates and employment conditions – such as wages, job–skills match and type of contract – reveal that economic fluctuations have negatively affected young workers more than other workers. Furthermore, beyond these fluctuations, a significant change has taken place over the 30-year period: young workers, but also newly recruited workers of any age, are increasingly being hired on more precarious employment contracts, such as temporary, part-time or fixed-term contracts. In all, only a quarter of these workers progress to a more stable work status, namely towards permanent full-time employment.
05 February 2007: Improving the employment integration of migrant workers (Portugal / Information update)
The mobility of migrant workers in companies can be related to career progression, but it is also influenced by high rates of staff turnover. Research into the occupational mobility of migrant workers reveals that a mismatch persists between the jobs obtained by these workers in the Portuguese labour market and the workers’ qualifications. This suggests that policy intervention is required in some areas in order to improve the integration of migrant workers in Portuguese labour market.
12 December 2006: Employees’ attitudes towards working time regulations (Lithuania / Information update)
In March 2006, the Lithuanian Free Market Institute published results of a research project on the attitudes of employees towards working time regulations which it carried out in 2005. The research aimed to show how employees evaluated issues such as relations between employers and employees, the regulation of working time, overtime pay and violations of the Labour Code. One of the main findings suggests that a third of people employed in Lithuania believe that regulating working hours restricts their ability to work longer hours for extra pay.
12 December 2006: Participation of workers in education and training (Slovenia / Information update)
In 2004, some 10.2% of employees participated in formal education programmes and 38.8% participated in non-formal education and training. Apart from the age of employees and their level of education, the factors that influence access to formal and non-formal education and training programmes are occupation, sector of employment and type of employment contract. Establishment size does not seem to affect employee access to education and training.
20 November 2006: Broader gender perspective needed in debate on ‘making work pay’ (EU Level / Information update)
The report, ‘Making work pay’: debates from a gender perspective, is a comparative review of some recent policy reforms in 30 European countries. The aim of the report is to identify the gender impact of tax or social benefit reforms, the effect of maternity and parental leave on employment (re-)integration, and the development of childcare services as an instrument to support parents’ employment.
13 November 2006: Improved quality of work for casual workers (Hungary / Information update)
Employment by means of the ‘casual employee booklet’ is an atypical, legal form of employment in Hungary. It allows for the recording of short-term or occasional employment, and is advantageous both for the employer and the employee. Through use of this booklet, the administrative burden related to employment is reduced for the employer, while the employee becomes entitled to receive medical care, pension insurance and a jobseeker’s allowance.
13 November 2006: Job–skills mismatch among migrant workers (Austria / Information update)
A new study published in August 2006 reveals the extent of, and the factors influencing, the under-utilisation of employees’ educational background in the Austrian labour market. The study refers to data from the last census carried out in May 2001. It shows that place of birth and citizenship are the most significant factors with regard to over-qualification in the job. Thus, the skills of migrant workers, either with or without Austrian citizenship, are not or only partly used in the workplace.
06 November 2006: Policies to encourage the return of emigrants (Poland / Information update)
EU enlargement in 2004 has led to a substantial wave of migration out of Poland. Recent public opinion polls reveal that a large proportion of young people are seriously considering emigration as an option. In September 2006, the Institute of Public Affairs presented public policy recommendations aimed at encouraging emigrants back to Poland.
30 October 2006: Integrating immigrants into labour market (Denmark / Information update)
A qualitative study undertaken by the National Institute of Social Research examines the impact of working conditions on the labour market integration of immigrants. Results of the study indicate that lack of role clarity, sense of community and harassment from clients/customers may contain ethnicity-specific dimensions. These factors all seem to evolve around communication difficulties in terms of divergent expectations in the Danish labour market, Danish language abilities and, in part, cultural/ethnic boundaries.
30 October 2006: Slight decrease in wage inequality (Spain / Information update)
More women are working in Spain today than in previous years and more workers have university degrees. Furthermore, people are staying in the same job for shorter periods. In general, it could be expected that these changes in the labour force would have increased wage variations and inequalities. However, despite all these changes, research from the Spanish Central Bank reveals that wage inequality in Spain has decreased slightly between 1995 and 2002, due mainly to changes in wage structure. Reduced investment returns to education and age partly explain this decrease in wage inequality.
30 October 2006: Improvements in pay, working time and job security (United Kingdom / Information update)
Earlier this year, the Department of Trade and Industry published an analysis of employment trends based on official datasets. It showed improvements for most workers in the areas of pay, working time and job security.
23 October 2006: Occupational mobility of immigrant workers (Portugal / Information update)
Research into the occupational mobility of immigrant workers reveals that the growth of the foreign resident population has had significant impacts on the Portuguese labour market. The immigrant population has a substantially higher economic activity rate than the total population. Immigrants come mainly from eastern Europe, Africa and Brazil, and are generally hired in the construction and hotels and restaurants sectors. More than one third of companies surveyed stated that they would like to hire more immigrant workers.
23 October 2006: Analysing the socioeconomic dimensions of employment (Latvia / Information update)
In recent times, it has come to light that the government lacks adequate information about job creation, job retention and job losses, as well as occupational structures, and sectoral and regional aspects. This is needed for the purpose of drafting employment policy documents, in particular with a view to Latvia meeting the targets of the EU Lisbon Strategy. In order to fill this gap in knowledge, in 2004 the Ministry of Economy commissioned research into the socioeconomic aspects of employment, which would analyse the methodology used to capture employment statistics. The study includes wide ranging statistics on jobs and employment, and a detailed explanation of labour market data. It offers a unique combination of economic and statistical approaches for analysing labour market issues.
09 October 2006: Over one million workers have more than one employer (France / Information update)
In 2005, workers with several employers and/or various occupations accounted for 1,126,000 people, representing 4.8% of the salaried population in France. The situation varies between those who have a single occupation with different employers and those who have more than one occupation. Those with a single occupation are mainly women, with lower qualifications and aged over 40 years, working in the services sector. The situation of the latter group of workers is more frequently by choice; they are also predominantly older workers but are more qualified and generally have a working week exceeding the legal 35 hours per week. Workers in both these groups are characterised as ‘pluriactive’ workers.
09 October 2006: Effectiveness of policies targeting specific groups of workers (EU Level / Information update)
According to the OECD Employment Outlook 2006, policies targeting specific groups of workers – such as women, older workers, young people and immigrants – help to tackle the barriers to participation in the labour market. However, the analysis shows that not all measures have proven to be effective.
25 September 2006: Trends in labour market participation, income and job satisfaction among non-nationals (Estonia / Information update)
A recent study by the Institute of International and Social Studies reveals that, although the labour market status of non-nationals remains low in Estonia, young non-nationals are advancing to higher positions. The study also highlights that the socioeconomic conditions of Estonian-Russians are becoming more equal to those of ethnic Estonians. However, compared to Estonians, Russians are less satisfied with their job, regardless of the type of occupation. Their income is strongly determined by their citizenship.
19 September 2006: Integration of graduates into the labour market (Portugal / Information update)
The transition from university to working life is relatively easy for nearly half the graduates of the University of Lisbon, according to a report based on a 2004 survey on the subject. On average, female graduates take longer to find their first job, and male graduates earn more than their female counterparts in the last job declared. Most respondents are satisfied with several aspects of their jobs and aim to achieve a good work–life balance.
19 September 2006: Role of career counselling as an employment strategy (Belgium / Information update)
A new study report from the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School and the Catholic University of Leuven reveals that career counselling as an employment strategy is still in its infancy. Among initiatives for an active labour market policy, the Flemish government recently established the right for employees to individual career counselling. Nevertheless, the research concludes that an intensified action plan is needed to develop career counselling as an effective labour market instrument in the region.
12 September 2006: Job prospects of young people of immigrant parents (France / Information update)
The integration into the labour market of young people of immigrant parents remains a major problem in France. For these young people, the difficulty in finding work is compounded by resentment towards the working world and the feeling of being employed at a level below their competencies. Analyses based on the ‘Génération 98’ survey examine the occupational characteristics of young people in relation to their social paths, the professional status of their parents and their geographical origins.
09 August 2006: Employment situation of young people (Spain / Information update)
Young people aged between 15 and 29 years represent 21% of the total Spanish population. As such, they represent a critical part of the national workforce. Nevertheless, according to a new report on youth employment, this group of persons have difficulty in accessing the labour market, due to social and economic constraints .
09 August 2006: Changing attitudes towards the illegal economy (Estonia / Information update)
According to a recent study, the number of workers receiving undeclared wages has declined over the past seven years, amounting to 9%–15% of employees in 2005. Moreover, the consumption of illegal goods and services has decreased significantly. In addition, public opinion has become less tolerant of the illegal economy, with people in favour of stricter control over enterprises, as well as tougher sanctions in cases of violation of the law.
11 September 2006: Improving access to employment and combating child labour (Romania / Information update)
In a 2005 survey on attitudes to education and training, child labour and undeclared work, most survey respondents underlined the importance of education in enabling access to the labour market. The study analysed labour market trends in terms of the gap between demand and supply, particularly in relation to qualification levels. Focusing on disadvantaged areas within four regions – including the capital, Bucharest – the analysis identified significant information and education gaps, as well as ambivalence towards some forms of child labour.
06 February 2006: Non-nationals at risk of unemployment and precarious employment (France / Information update)
Non-nationals or people of foreign origin face higher levels of unemployment and job insecurity on average than French citizens by birth, especially in certain districts in underprivileged urban areas.
16 December 2005: Status of self-employed people (Spain / Information update)
In Spain, there are approximately 3.4 million self-employed people, representing 18% of the total working population. Spanish self-employed people are more likely to be men, between 40 and 49 years old, and usually set up their business in the service sector. In addition, they work more hours than employees do and have lower educational attainment.
14 November 2005: Worklife cycle and employment (EU Level / Information update)
A worklife cycle approach aims at extending working life and addresses measures to increase labour market participation for both younger and also older workers.
09 November 2005: Temporary employment in the Spanish labour market (Spain / Information update)
The Spanish labour market is characterised by a high level of temporary employment, especially in comparison with the EU average. Women, young people, workers with low educational levels, and those working in particular economic sectors are more likely to have a temporary employment contract.
10 October 2005: Reform of the Spanish labour market (Spain / Information update)
A 2005 report by an experts’ commission identifies the main problems affecting the Spanish labour market, as well as the main strengths and weaknesses of Spanish employment policies. The experts argue that a reasonable balance between flexibility and security is still required in Spain.
05 August 2005: Factors influencing productivity in companies (Portugal / Information update)
Between 1993 and 2002, medium and large companies in Portugal underwent significant changes in the composition of the workforce and working conditions. In the face of significant positive and negative effects on productivity, non-permanent employment contracts became more popular, while company investment in human capital generally decreased.
09 May 2005: Ethnic discrimination in Swedish labour market (Sweden / Information update)
Considerable ethnic discrimination exists in the Swedish labour market, which cannot be explained solely by human capital factors, such as education or language skills. Discrimination can also be generated at community and institutional level. To help solve employment discrimination, information campaigns should focus particularly on people making recruitment decisions.
03 March 2005: Work and migration of young people (Estonia / Information update)
A study of young people in Estonia reveals that salary levels are the most important ‘quality of work’ indicator for them. This explains why the desire for a good salary is one of the most frequent reasons to work abroad, even when foregoing a ‘better’ job in Estonia.
18 October 2004: Training and employment performance (EU Level / Information update)
According to the OECD Employment Outlook 2004, policies aimed at enhancing workers’ skills contribute to an improvement in employment performance. Lifelong learning is shown to be a vital element in employment strategies.
24 August 2004: Temporary agency work in the European Union (EU Countries / Topic report [ or view as size 95 kb])
Overall dissatisfaction with their working conditions and job situation among temporary agency workers would seem to indicate the existence of poor working conditions among this group. However, specific health and quality of work indicators paint a more ambiguous picture. They reveal that the main reasons behind this dissatisfaction are the insecurity inherent in this form of employment and the fact that temporary agency work may often be taken up involuntarily.
13 August 2004: Employers’ networks support return to work (Sweden / Information update)
Since the early 1990s, employers’ networks (‘Arbetsgivarringar’ in Swedish) have gained in popularity among private companies and public organisations. Today, there are about 50 local networks spread across the country. The main focus of employers’ networks is human resource needs, particularly in relation to people who are returning to the workplace after a period of illness or unemployment.
21 June 2004: Changing face of self-employment in Spain (Spain / Information update)
The rates of self-employment in Spain have decreased slightly in recent years, despite remaining higher than the EU average. Recent figures indicate that an increasing proportion of the self-employed are women, and the group is reporting higher levels of educational attainment. The proportion of self-employed people in new sectors and occupations is growing.
26 April 2004: Increase in permanent employment in Spain (Spain / Information update)
According to the Spanish Labour Force Survey, the proportion of workers with permanent contracts continued to grow during 2003, while the temporary employment ratio fell slightly, both across age groups and genders. There was a small increase in the level of part-time work.
26 February 2004: Commission signals progress in quality of work (EU Level / Information update)
A Communication from the European Commission highlights recent progress regarding quality of work issues, and assesses the policy implications.
23 December 2003: Young people in the Swedish labour market (Sweden / Information update)
There is a high proportion of temporary and part-time employment among young people, as well as relatively high unemployment. An increasing number are neither working nor looking for a job. If these trends continue, there will be serious consequences for the national economy in the near future.
11 December 2003: Innovative project to integrate unemployed people into permanent employment (Germany / Information update)
First results from the evaluation of Volkswagen’s Auto 5000 project suggest that more unemployed people could be successfully integrated into high quality jobs.
01 December 2003: Quality of work and employment (EU Level / Information update)
The European Commission’s Employment in Europe 2003 report examines the subject of quality of work. In relation to this topic, it identifies relevant indicators and labour market dynamics, such as flexible working arrangements. Overall, it finds that quality of work did not improve significantly across the EU Member States in the period 1996-2000.