Press release, 1 February 2010
Eurofound publishes its European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) quarterly for the 4th quarter 2009:
Levels of restructuring job loss continue to decline but so does job creation across Europe
The European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) recorded a total of 285 cases of restructuring in the European Union between 1 October and 31 December 2009, involving some 100,000 announced job losses and 20,000 announced job gains. Restructuring activity as captured by the ERM has continued to reflect more normal levels of activity in the recent quarter. Levels of restructuring job loss continue to decline from the peak levels of the fourth quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009. So too did levels of job creation, which fell to their lowest level since the ERM started systematically recording such cases in 2004.
The European Union emerged from recession in the third quarter of 2009 but growth remains weak at +0.3% across all EU27 Member States. All Member States continue to suffer the effects and aftershocks of the recent severe recession. Unemployment notably continues to rise and its pace of increase has accelerated in the most recent quarter to reach the highest levels in over a decade.
All countries have experienced increasing levels of unemployment during 2009. There is, however, a wide variation among Member States. The most severe impact of the economic downturn has been observed in Latvia, Spain and Ireland, where unemployment between November 2008 and November 2009 rose by 12.1%, 5.4% and 5.1%, respectively. Other EU Member States have reported only a marginal increase in unemployment over the same period, partly thanks to extensive government-funded stimulus programmes as well as public assistance to short-time work and temporary lay-off subsidies. This has notably been the case for Germany.
‘Though they are, on the whole, more positive than in recent quarters, macroeconomic indicators in the EU continue to send mixed messages,’ says Donald Storrie of Eurofound’s Employment and Competitiveness unit. “On the one hand, there are clear signs of recovery, albeit one that is slow and potentially vulnerable. On the other hand, labour markets continue to suffer and unemployment is unlikely to peak before the second half of 2010.’
Restructuring activity as captured by the ERM has continued to reflect more normal levels of activity in the recent quarter. Levels of job loss continue to decline from the peak levels of fourth quarter 2008 to first quarter 2009. So, too, did levels of job creation which fell to their lowest level since the ERM started systematically recording such cases in 2004.
During the fourth quarter of 2009, 97,683 large scale restructuring job losses were announced across the EU. The United Kingdom records the highest number of job losses (27,448) with lower volumes of job loss reported in Germany (9,403), France (8,692) and Belgium (7,566). Financial intermediation was the sector that recorded the highest number of announced job losses (16,411) followed by auto manufacturing (14,673), retail (8,968), public administration (8,367) and transport, storage and communications (6,973).
In its latest edition, the quarterly also provides a summary of an employment and restructuring outlook for 2010 as well as a feature on collective redundancy data from Lithuania.
For further information, contact
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Note to the editor
The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound – www.eurofound.europa.eu ) is a tripartite EU body, whose role is to provide key actors in social policymaking with findings, knowledge and advice drawn from comparative research. Eurofound was established by Council Regulation EEC No 1365/75 of 26 May 1975 and is located in Dublin, Ireland.
The European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) is a tool that monitors the employment effects of large-scale restructuring events in the EU27 and Norway. The monitor relies on reports in selected media titles (three to four per country) covered by a network of 28 national correspondents. All announcements involving the reduction or creation of at least 100 jobs, or affecting 10% of the workforce in sites employing 250 people or more, are taken into account. More information is available on www.eurofound.europa.eu/emcc.
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