Blog

  • Not finished at 50: Keeping older workers in work

    Over the last decade, European labour markets have seen a surge in the number of older workers in work and a continuous decline in their unemployment rates. A lot of young and middle-aged workers lost their jobs in the Great Recession, but not so the older age group. This favourable state of affairs means they receive less policy attention, which is unfortunate for older workers who suddenly find themselves without a job.

  • Platform work – Breaking barriers or breaking bad?

    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 in Europe about a decade ago.

  • Progress in paternity and parental leave for fathers – Are baby steps enough?

    Few events challenge the equilibrium between work and life like the arrival of a child. As gender roles continue to change in Europe, supporting the uptake of paternity and parental leave among fathers is fundamental, not just to close the ‘caring gap’ between men and women, but also to provide the best possible outlook for coming generations.

  • Are blue-collar jobs turning white?

    Manual jobs in European manufacturing are being transformed as blue-collar workers take on more intellectual tasks. This is a consequence of the increasing use of digital tools and the growing importance of quality control in production. The severe losses of middle-paying jobs in the manufacturing sector during the economic crisis raised concerns about its future role and contribution to economic progress.

  • Keeping careers alive as work transforms

    In this article, Jean-Marie Jungblut looks at the health of careers in Europe. He argues that, since the average length of the most important job in a person’s life is over 20 years, time should be put aside in the middle of a career to check the fit between the worker and the job. Different scenarios can arise from such an exercise.

  • The human factor in innovation

    Companies are constantly competing for the next big thing in innovation – the next-generation 3D phone, the quantum computer, the virtual doctor. They fixate on technological breakthroughs and look for new business models. But innovation also needs systems, an organisational structure and people who work together. The human factor in innovation is often forgotten or neglected – the employees’ skills, their level of input, their autonomy in their jobs and the rewards they receive. Or do such factors really play any role in innovation?

  • Europe’s economic recovery continues in times of political instability

    Europe is showing visible signs of progress; in most countries, labour markets are healthier than they have been in a decade, with more people active and in work than ever before, while social exclusion is declining. However, it is also a continent in transition, where an imbalance in opportunities for prosperity and quality of life – depending on where you live or which particular social group you belong to – directly determines to what extent you have felt this recovery.

  • Germany’s minimum wage has reduced wage inequality

    Wages grew and wage inequality fell in most EU countries in 2015. Germany is not one of the countries where wages rose most, but it did have the largest reduction of wage inequality. Our analysis shows that the German minimum wage policy introduced in 2015 strongly lifted the wages of the lowest-paid employees, particularly those employees who were lower-skilled, younger or working in services.

  • Three vectors transforming work in the digital revolution

    Digital technologies are transforming work, but the implications have not yet been fully grasped. In a recent Eurofound report, we focus on three main vectors of change to discuss the effects of digital technologies on work and employment and the policy responses such change demands.

  • Stamping out fraud in hiring practices across Europe

    Research Manager Isabella Biletta looks at fraudulent practices in the contracting of work. Such practices involve the abuse of legitimate employment relationships with the aim of sidestepping labour and social regulations and with the effect of undermining workers’ rights and fair competition in business. The article is based on several years of Eurofound research on the subject.

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