This report examines whether EU Member States are converging or diverging with regard to working conditions and quality of work and employment. While the findings reveal a relative divergence in Europe with the joining of the new Member States in 2004 and 2007, the results confirm that the gap is closing and that in some of the older Member States there is evidence of disimprovements in some areas, such as prevalence of work intensity and reduced access to training. Data from four European Working Conditions Surveys is used to compare trends across a fifteen-year time span. An executive summary is available.
The concept of the 'working poor' has become increasing applicable to social and labour market realities in the EU, due to the rise in atypical and precarious work patterns and a growing polarisation in the labour market between low or unskilled work and highskilled work. Based primarily on a comprehensive literature review, this report covers issues such as definitions of the working poor, the incidence and characteristics of the working poor and related subgroups, as well as examining the various policy responses aimed at alleviating or combating working poverty.