Denmark has experienced five years of uninterrupted economic recovery, and in
1997 economic growth was estimated at approximately 3%. This has led to
sizeable reductions in unemployment rates which have few parallels in Europe
during this decade. Unemployment has been reduced from a record-high rate of
12.4% in 1993 to 7.4% in December 1997 - a reduction equal to 205,800
unemployed persons. The reduction has been beneficial for all groups, and
especially for women. These positive tendencies are mirrored by an
improvement in general government finances. Denmark will be one of the first
countries in Europe to be able to show a surplus on the general government
account in 1997. The current surplus of 0.7% is expected to increase to DKK
14 billion (ECU 1.9 billion) or 1.2% of GDP in 1998. Inflation stood at 1.9%
The Irish economy has performed exceptionally well in recent years, with
annual GNP growth averaging 6%-7% between 1994 and 1996 and standing at 6.6%
in 1997, according to Eurostat figures. This has resulted in increased
prosperity and living standards, and these trends are forecast to continue
over the short to medium term. Inflation averaged 2.2% over 1994-6, and is
expected to remain at around 2% in the foreseeable future (Eurostat puts the
1997 figure at 1.2%). The General Government Deficit was reduced from 2.2 %
of GDP in 1993 to around 1.5% in 1996 - Eurostat estimates a public surplus
of 0.9% of GDP in 1997 - while the debt/GDP ratio fell from 94% in 1993 to
76% at the end of 1996 - 66.3% in 1997, according to Eurostat. The strong
performance of the economy has resulted in significant employment growth.
Indeed, total employment increased by an average of over 45,000 per year
between 1993 and 1996, while the unemployment rate declined from almost 17%
in 1993 to just under 13% in 1996 and (according to Eurostat) 10.2% in 1997.
Toyota, the Japan-based motor manufacturer, has a UK plant at Burnaston in
Derbyshire, which is said to have the third-highest productivity levels of
any car plant in Europe. It was widely expected that the company would
continue its investment in the UK by building a new plant aimed at production
for the small-car market in that country. However, on 10 December 1997, the
announcement was made that the GBP 400 million assembly plant, which is
likely to create over 2,000 jobs, will be built in Valenciennes, northern
In November 1997, Luxembourg's Social Institute hosted a debate involving
trade unions and employers on the Government's plan to introduce "dependence
insurance", to cover against becoming dependent through disability, illness
Following the special Jobs Summit  which took place in Luxembourg on 20-21
November 1997 (EU9711168F ), the European Commission adopted a final
proposal for Guidelines for Member States' employment policies for 1998 
on 3 December 1997. The proposal, which was adopted by the Council of Labour
and Social Affairs Ministers on 15 December 1997 (EU9712175N ), launches
the European employment strategy agreed at the Amsterdam European Council
meeting in June 1997 (EU9706133N ). These guidelines now have to be
incorporated into national employment action plans drawn up by the Member
States in the form of national objectives. Member States are committed to
submitting these plans in time for their examination by the European Council
meeting to take place in Cardiff in June 1998. The implementation of these
guidelines will be monitored regularly and an annual report will be produced
by the Commission. This approach draws on the existing practice of
multiannual surveillance established after the December 1994 Essen summit, to
monitor the implementation of the recommendation drawn up at that meeting.
An agreement was concluded on 10 October 1997 between Norway Post and the
Joint Federation of Postal Employees.The latter is the cooperation body for
the two unions that organise the majority of employees in the postal service,
the Norwegian Union of Postal Employees (DNP) and the Norwegian Union of
Postal Workers (NPF), both of which are affiliated to the Norwegian
Confederation of Trade Unions (LO). The agreement aims at creating a new
infrastructure for postal operations, which involves a reduction in the
number of sorting offices in operation. Also included in this agreement are
measures to safeguard the jobs of approximately 1,500 employees adversely
affected by this reorganisation.
The results of the December 1997 elections to France's /Prud'hommes/
industrial tribunals have confirmed the trends observed for more than a
decade. The only new development is the CFDT union confederation's victory in
the management staff electoral college.
It was with confidence that the Social Democrat Government presented its
report on the Swedish economy in 1997. When it took office in 1994, Sweden
had one of the biggest public sector deficits in the European Union. In 1997,
it was reduced to 0.4% of GDP, measured by EU accounting principles, and the
consolidated debt ratio had fallen for three consecutive years. "This is a
signal to other countries that Sweden's decision to stay outside the monetary
union at the start is not because of a wish to pursue a less responsible
policy than other EU member states," the Minister of Finance, Erik Åsbrink,
The economic situation in Austria proved stable in 1997, with growth rates
reaching 2% in real terms. These are expected to rise further to 2.7% in
1998. Economic growth was largely export-driven as the increase in domestic
incomes was limited. Inflation was reduced to 1.4% and is expected to remain
at this level in 1998. The level of unemployment was steady at 4.4% and is
expected to decrease only slightly in 1998. The budget deficit amounted to
2.5% of GDP, which is half of the 1995 level, and it is expected that this
decrease will continue.
On 15 December 1997, the employers' association for newspaper publishers,
Bundesverband Deutscher Zeitungsverleger (BDZV) and the two trade unions
which organise journalists, IG Medien and Deutscher Journalisten-Verband
(DJV), signed new collective agreements for the 17,000 or so journalists on
daily newspapers. The negotiations, lasting more than three months, were
overshadowed by strong demands for further cost reductions by the employers
on the one hand, and accompanied by several union protest actions and warning
strikes (Warnstreiks) on the other hand. Finally, the collective bargaining
parties agreed on the following provisions:
This series reports on developments in minimum wage rates across the EU, including how they are set and how they have developed over time in nominal and real terms. The series explores where there are statutory minimum wages or collectively agreed minimum wages in the Member States, as well as minimum wage coverage rates by gender.
Eurofound’s work on COVID-19 examines the far-reaching socioeconomic implications of the pandemic across Europe as they continue to impact living and working conditions. A key element of the research is the e-survey, conducted in three rounds – in April and July 2020 and in March 2021. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2015. It provides an overview of trends in working conditions and quality of employment for the last 30 years. It covers issues such as employment status, working time duration and organisation, work organisation, learning and training, physical and psychosocial risk factors, health and safety, work–life balance, worker participation, earnings and financial security, work and health, and most recently also the future of work.
The European Restructuring Monitor has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This series includes its restructuring-related databases (events, support instruments and legislation) as well as case studies and publications.
Eurofound’s Flagship report series 'Challenges and prospects in the EU' comprise research reports that contain the key results of multiannual research activities and incorporate findings from different related research projects. Flagship reports are the major output of each of Eurofound’s strategic areas of intervention and have as their objective to contribute to current policy debates.
Eurofound’s European Company Survey (ECS) maps and analyses company policies and practices which can have an impact on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as the development of social dialogue in companies. This series consists of outputs from the ECS 2019, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
Eurofound's representativness studies are designed to allow the European Commission to identify the ‘management and labour’ whom it must consult under article 154 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). This series consists of studies of the representativeness of employer and worker organisations in various sectors.
This series reports on and updates latest information on the involvement of national social partners in policymaking. The series analyses the involvement of national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, including their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs).
This series reports on the new forms of employment emerging across Europe that are driven by societal, economic and technological developments and are different from traditional standard or non-standard employment in a number of ways. This series explores what characterises these new employment forms and what implications they have for working conditions and the labour market.
The European Company Survey (ECS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2004–2005, with the latest edition in 2019. The survey is designed to provide information on workplace practices to develop and evaluate socioeconomic policy in the EU. It covers issues around work organisation, working time arrangements and work–life balance, flexibility, workplace innovation, employee involvement, human resource management, social dialogue, and most recently also skills use, skills strategies and digitalisation.
The European Jobs Monitor tracks changes in employment structure and contributes to the debate about whether European labour markets are polarising or upgrading. The European Jobs Monitor report in 2021 looks in particular at two dimensions of change in labour supply – increased female participation and population/workforce ageing – to show how they can contribute to an understanding of recent changes in employment structure.
This study presents policy-relevant findings on differential pay rates for men and women at occupational level. Previous research has underlined that the gender pay gap is biggest – and has been slowest to narrow – in well-paid jobs requiring professional qualifications. These are also jobs in which the female worker share is increasing relatively fast. The report maps the extent of the gender pay gap across the job-wage distribution, taking into account the shifting gender composition of specific sectors, occupations and jobs.
Following improvements in economic growth and labour market participation after the global financial and economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a new, unprecedented challenge for the EU. The crisis threatens to pose an existential challenge to the EU’s cohesion and legitimacy. The subject of upward convergence is once again centre stage in the European policy debate. Expanding on work done on this topic in previous years, this flagship report traces developments in economic and social indicators between the economic crisis and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While often considered staid, social partner organisations have developed different ways of using technology to communicate with their members, as well as to organise, mobilise and develop both internally, among staff, and externally, vis-à-vis members and the public. This topical update maps current practices in social partner organisations, describes developments in the use of technologies, and outlines the impact on social partner activities and organisation.
What have been the major trends and policy developments regarding digitalisation in Europe? What do we know about the deployment of automation, digitisation and the platform economy? This flagship publication provides an overview of developments in Europe in recent years, as well as mapping the observable or expected effects on employment and working conditions, as well as exploring the implications from a policy perspective.
This report explores the association between skills use and skills strategies and establishment performance, and how other workplace practices, in terms of work organisation, human resources management and employee involvement, can impact on this. It looks at how skills shortages can be addressed, at least in part, by creating an environment in which employees are facilitated and motivated to make better use of the skills they already have. This further supports the business case for a more holistic approach to management.
The COVID-19 pandemic radically reshaped workplace practices and work organisation across the EU. This report explores changes that occurred as a result of or during the COVID-19 pandemic in areas such as technological transformation, decision-making and remote working. The research sets out to learn from company experiences and measures that have proved critical to keeping businesses running. It aims to inform policymakers, employers and trade unions on how to make businesses, workplaces and workers more resilient in the face of a crisis such as COVID-19.
This report examines the phenomenon of overtime in the EU, providing a comparative description of how it is regulated in EU Member States. It also assesses how contentious the issue can be and investigates the reasons behind the various disputes and debates. Finally, the report attempts to quantify and characterise the share of overtime for which workers are not paid or compensated. The analysis is based on information collected in EU Member States by the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.
This report captures the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the quality of life of older citizens, including the impact on their well-being, finances, employment and social inclusion. It explores the effects on care use and reliance on other support. The report analyses policy measures that have been implemented in EU Member States that have proven particularly important for the quality of life of older citizens, for example, measures to support independent living.
This report examines a number of collective labour disputes involving industrial action in EU Member States, Norway and the UK. It provides a comprehensive study of each labour dispute, including information on industrial action events and the context for each dispute, as well as the relevant topics, actors, attempts at resolution and outcomes. Different types of collective labour disputes and their occurrence in various countries and sectors are presented, indicating how they are linked to different industrial relations regimes.