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Labour market policies

To improve the functioning of labour markets, policymakers need to address labour market mismatches, labour market segmentation, and design employment policies geared towards the integration of specific groups into the labour market. Active labour market policies (ALMP) are public interventions which are explicitly targeted at groups of persons with difficulties in the labour market. These policies include Public Employment Services or other publicly funded services for jobseekers. Active support to employment is included in the European Pillar of Social Rights.


Eurofound research

Explore Eurofound's regularly updated EU PolicyWatch database of measures introduced by governments and social partners in the EU Member States to alleviate the effects on businesses, workers and citizens of recent crises – COVID-19, the war in Ukraine and rising inflation. It also lists policies to support the digital and green transitions, as well companies that need to restructure. 

Database: EU PolicyWatch

Recent updates


During the pandemic, many young people had to change their plans for the future. While at the end of 2023 young people’s labour market situation was more favourable than it...

21 toukokuu 2024
Research report

From July to December 2023, Eurofound supported the work of Spain's presidency of the Council of the EU, providing valuable research results on specific topics linked with the presidency priorities.

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Eurofound expert(s)

John Hurley

John Hurley is a senior research manager in the Employment unit at Eurofound. He took up the role of research manager in February 2012. He is responsible for the European...

Senior research manager,
Employment research unit
Publications results (149)

During the pandemic, many young people had to change their plans for the future. While at the end of 2023 young people’s labour market situation was more favourable than it had been in recent years, many obstacles remained on their route to independence, such as the rising cost of living and

21 May 2024

The rise of the platform economy during the last decade is one of the main disrupting forces for European labour markets. While standard employment remains the norm, platforms are expanding their reach and diversifying into novel business models. In doing so, they are also attracting an increasing n

16 May 2023

On request by the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Eurofound prepared a background paper as a basis for the discussion at the informal Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) meeting on 3-4 May 2023. The paper outlines some of the key challenges

04 May 2023

Kun taloudet alkavat elpyä covid-19-pandemiasta, työvoimapula on käymässä yhä ilmeisemmäksi huolimatta Ukrainan sodan vaikutuksista energian ja hyödykkeiden hintoihin. Tämä koskee myös joitakin aloja ja ammattiryhmiä, joissa kriisi pahensi jo olemassa olleita alueellisia ongelmia. Tässä

28 March 2023

Historiallisesti EU:n lähentymistä koskeva poliittinen keskustelu on kiihtynyt kriisien jälkimainingeissa. Covid-19-pandemian jälkeen ajankohtaisessa raportissa arvioidaankin lähentymisen suuntauksia kahden viimeisen vuosikymmenen ajalta. Raportti alkaa empiirisellä tutkimuksella, joka koskee

22 March 2023

The European Union Agencies Network on Scientific Advice (EU-ANSA) consists of technical and regulatory agencies that provide scientific advice to EU policymakers. This report demonstrates how EU-ANSA member Agencies are addressing the socioeconomic effects of sustainable development. It is based on

05 January 2022

The rapid rise of the platform economy has led to a marked transformation of European labour markets, and existing regulatory frameworks and voluntary initiatives have yet to catch up. While platform work offers opportunities for workers and employers and potentially contributes to innovation

02 December 2021

This briefing is co-produced by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and Eurofound. It is based on the results of two complementary analyses by the EEA and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) on the socioeconomic effects of climate policies, in

29 October 2021

Covid-19-pandemia on vuonna 2020 tyrehdyttänyt tai rajoittanut monenlaista taloudellista toimintaa, millä on ollut kauaskantoisia vaikutuksia työmarkkinoihin. Työllisyys heikkeni pandemian alussa jyrkemmin kuin maailmanlaajuisen finanssikriisin aikana. Tehtyjen työtuntien määrä väheni sitäkin

19 October 2021

Vaikka työttömyys on edelleen valtava haaste Euroopassa, joissakin maissa ja ammateissa sekä joillakin toimialoilla on työvoimavajeita. Raportissa selitetään erilaisia lähestymistapoja työvoimavajeiden määrittämiseen ja kartoitetaan, minkälaisia poliittisia keskusteluja ongelmasta on käyty

20 July 2021

Online resources results (199)
In this episode of Eurofound Talks, recorded for International Women's Day 2023, Mary McCaughey speaks with Eurofound Working Life researchers Jorge Cabrita and Viginta Ivaškaitė-Tamošiūnė about how, when paid and unpaid work are combined, women do eight full-time weeks more work than men per year
8 maaliskuu 2023

Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the mass immigration of refugees into the EU – over 5 million to date, according to the UNHCR – has put European societies under pressure. EU and national-level policymakers together with civil society reacted quickly to accommodate the waves of fleeing Ukr

EU level: Latest developments in working life Q2 2020

Activities of the European Commission and social partners regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the high-level hearing on implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights and a fair EU minimum wage initiative are the main topics of interest in this article. This EU update reports on the latest

United Kingdom: latest working life developments Q2 2018

The social partners’ joint statement on the risk of a no-deal Brexit risk, launch of the first labour market enforcement strategy and a record low for workers’ strikes are the main topics of interest in this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in the UK in

Slovakia: latest working life developments Q2 2018

An increase in wage supplements, easier access for people from countries outside the EU to join the Slovak labour market and new legislation for social enterprises are the main topics of interest in this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in Slovakia in

France: latest working life developments Q2 2018

The adoption of labour market reforms, strikes in the transport sector and new leadership among the social partners are the main topics of interest in this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in France in the second quarter of 2018.

Czech Republic: latest working life developments Q2 2018

The new government taking office, a new low for the unemployment rate, the end of cheap labour and a call for more foreign workers are the main topics of interest in this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in the Czech Republic in the second quarter of

Finland: Latest working life developments – Q4 2017

The ongoing sectoral collective bargaining round, the government’s controversial active labour market policy, and proposed regulations on zero-hour contracts are the main topics of interest in this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in Finland in the

Austria: Latest working life developments – Q4 2017

The general elections and the new federal government, major reforms planned in social and labour market policy, and wage increases of up to 3% are the main topics of interest in this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in Austria in the fourth quarter of

Italy: Latest working life developments – Q2 2017

Changes to state employment, a new youth traineeship framework and an agreement to halt the off-shoring of call centres are the main topics of interest in this article. This country update reports on the latest developments in working life in Italy in the second quarter of 2017.

Blogs results (10)

The European Commission declared 2023 as the European Year of Skills, stating ‘Helping people get the right skills for quality jobs and helping companies, in particular small and medium enterprises, address skills shortages in the EU is what this year is all about.’

27 maaliskuu 2023

We need to study and understand the blow Europe’s youth have suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to adjust recovery and resilience measures to their needs: without prioritising young people in the present, we have little hope for the future.

3 joulukuu 2021

Following the declines in employment rates and working hours across Europe in 2020, economies began to show signs of recovery during the first quarter of 2021. The gradual rekindling of economic activity has led to a surge in demand for workers and reawakened concerns over labour shortages

20 heinäkuu 2021

Decision-makers approached minimum wage setting for 2021 cautiously due to the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Despite this, nominal statutory minimum wages rose in most Member States and the UK, although at lower rates than in recent years.

8 kesäkuu 2021

​​​​​​​To date, close to six million workers in the EU have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Many businesses have closed their doors forever or been pushed to the brink, bringing severe financial and psychological hardship to the individuals and families affected. However, the toll of the pandemic

9 helmikuu 2021

On 2 April, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a new fund of up to €100 billion to support EU Member States to introduce short-time working or similar schemes, including for the self-employed, in an effort to safeguard jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Known as SURE

5 toukokuu 2020

At the very outset of its mandate, the new European Commission presented the European Green Deal, establishing the objective of becoming the first climate-neutral bloc in the world by 2050. The initiative emphasises the seriousness which the European Commission places on the climate and biodiversity

21 helmikuu 2020

Economic disparities have been decreasing between EU member states over the past decade, but at the same time inequality has been growing within member states. Despite national level convergence, the gap in wealth and income between the rich and the poor is growing in most of Europe. Some of this

29 lokakuu 2019

Unemployment in the EU is continuing to fall, with the rate approaching its 2008 low point. This is good news: the Europe 2020 target of 75% employment in the working age population is now in sight for many Member States. However, as unemployment reaches new lows, the opposite problem is emerging –

19 marraskuu 2018

In the abstract, platform work is the matching of supply and demand for paid work through an online platform. In practice, most people are likely to have encountered it through big online platforms such as Uber, Deliveroo or Amazon Mechanical Turk. This is a new form employment that began to emerge

2 marraskuu 2018
Upcoming publications results (2)

This report provides updated data on the scale of labour shortages and labour market slack in the EU and at Member State level and focusses on organisational policies aimed at attracting workers in shortage occupations. It provides lessons on steps employers can take to fill vacancies, whether actin

September 2024
Research report

Job retention schemes were the main policy instruments used across the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic to preserve employment and support businesses. The report provides an analysis of job retention schemes in the EU, focusing on their institutional characteristics, their impact on employment levels

September 2024
Research report


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