Estimating labour market slack in the European Union

Report
Updated
18 July 2017
Published
18 July 2017
Formats
Executive summary in 22 languages

PDF

Abstract

Labour market slack is the shortfall between the volume of work desired by workers and the actual volume of work available. The most important indicator of labour slack is the unemployment rate, but an exclusive focus on this fails to take account of the four-fifths of the jobless population who are inactive rather than unemployed. Many people in this group have some form of labour market attachment – they would like to work, are seeking work or are available to work. In addition, many part-time workers would like to work longer hours. The aim of this report is to develop a more nuanced estimate of labour slack using EU Labour Force Survey data, which allows involuntary part-timers and inactive people with some labour market attachment to be identified and quantified. The authors calculate that there were around 50 million people in the broad category of labour slack in 2015 and that labour slack has been slower to fall in response to the recovery than unemployment. An executive summary is available - see Related content.

  • Full report

    Number of Pages: 
    56
    Reference No: 
    EF1711
    ISBN: 
    978-92-897-1588-1
    Catalogue: 
    TJ-02-461-EN-N
    DOI: 
    10.2806/610691
    Catalogue info

    Estimating labour market slack in the European Union

    Labour market slack is the shortfall between the volume of work desired by workers and the actual volume of work available. The most important indicator of labour slack is the unemployment rate, but an exclusive focus on this fails to take account of the four-fifths of the jobless population who are inactive rather than unemployed.

    Available formats

  • Executive summary

    Reference No: 
    EF17111
    Catalogue info

    Estimating labour market slack in the European Union - Executive summary

    Authors: 
    Eurofound

    The unemployment rate is an important and well-publicised measure of labour market performance in developed market economies. It is currently high in the EU compared with other developed countries and still well above its historical average nearly a decade after the beginning of the global financial crisis. But focusing exclusively on the unemployment rate fails to take account of other numerically important manifestations of labour market slack (or simply labour slack), defined in this report as the shortfall between the volume of work desired by workers and the actual volume of work available. Read more in the report - see Related content.

    Available in 22 languages for download

    PDF
Useful? Interesting? Tell us what you think. Hide comments

Add new comment