The European Jobs Monitor (EJM) tracks structural change in European labour markets. It analyses shifts in the employment structure in the EU in terms of occupation and sector and gives a qualitative assessment of these shifts using various proxies of job quality – wages, skill levels, etc. Is employment growing relatively fastest in well-paid, mid-paid or high-paid jobs? The EJM covers all 27 EU Member States and is based primarily on analysis of the European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) data. In May 2023, the EJM interactive dataset was updated to include the most recent annual EU-LFS up to 2021 for all Member States, as well as for the EU27 as a whole.
The latest EJM thematic report, European Jobs Monitor 2021: Gender gaps and the employment structure, published in December 2021, examines the impacts of the changing contours of labour supply on the employment structure over the last quarter-century in Europe (1995–2019). The report analyses how increases in labour supply have been distributed by sector, by occupation and across the wage distribution. The primary focus is on gender, with a secondary focus on ageing. This report – co-published by Eurofound and the European Commission Joint Research Centre – seeks to make connections between changes in employment structure, sociodemographic trends and the persisting differences in labour market outcomes for men and women.
- Two out of three net new jobs in the EU over the last two decades have been taken up by women and this increase has been strongest among 30 to 49-year-olds and older women aged 50+. While the result has been a narrowing of the gender employment gap, it still persists in nearly every EU Member State.
- The rise in women’s employment has had the greatest impact on the top and the bottom of the wage distribution leading to low-paying jobs, formerly dominated by men, becoming dominated by women. The first employment impacts of COVID-19 overall have been most sharply felt by low-paid workers, especially low-paid women.
- The state’s role as an employer has been crucial in boosting women’s employment. Women have benefited more than men from employment growth in well-paying jobs, with three predominantly state-paid sectors – public administration, health and education – accounting for the majority of recent employment growth in well-paid jobs among women.
- Women’s employment will have to grow at a rate at least three times faster than that of men up to the end of the decade to meet the gender and employment targets set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan. Boosting women’s employment must remain a priority for policymakers given that the gender employment gap has scarcely changed since 2014.
- The persistence of gender job segregation is a strong signal that more dynamic education and training systems and other incentives will be required to encourage young men and women (15–29 years) to engage in occupations dominated by the other gender.
Summary of gender gaps and employment structure
One of the most striking developments of the last half-century has been the huge rise in the labour market participation of women. Two out of every three net new jobs created over the last two decades in the EU were taken by women. At the same time, sharply rising employment rates among older workers due to population ageing and policy changes have increased the share of older workers in the labour market.
- Data and resources: European Jobs Monitor
The EJM methodology is adapted from the pioneering work of Joseph Stiglitz and Erik Olin Wright / Rachel Dwyer in the USA in the 1990s. Jobs, classified by sector and occupation, are ranked according to mean hourly wage; this classification is then used to study on a continuous basis the changes in the structure of employment in different countries, as well as at aggregate EU level.
- European Jobs Monitor: Methodology
Previous Eurofound publications
- Shifts in the employment structure at regional level: European Jobs Monitor 2019 (thematic report | executive summary)
- Occupational change and wage inequality: European Jobs Monitor 2017 (thematic report | executive summary)
- What do Europeans do at work? A task-based analysis - European Jobs Monitor 2016 (annual report | executive summary)
- Upgrading or polarisation? Long-term and global shifts in the employment structure – European Jobs Monitor 2015 (annual report | executive summary)
- Drivers of recent job polarisation and upgrading in Europe - European Jobs Monitor 2014 (annual report | executive summary)
- Employment polarisation and job quality in the crisis: European Jobs Monitor 2013 (annual report | executive summary)
- Shifts in the job structure in Europe during the Great Recession (2011, report | executive summary)
- More and better jobs: Patterns of employment expansion in Europe (2008, report | executive summary)
- An adapted version of the 2011 report was used as a chapter of the European Commission’s Employment and Social Developments in Europe 2011
- Transformations of the Employment Structure in the EU and the USA, 1995-2007 (2012, edited by Eurofound staff)
- Fernandez-Macias, E. (2012). Job Polarization in Europe? Changes in the Employment Structure and Job Quality, 1995-2007, Work and Occupations (2012)
- Fernández-Macías, E. and Hurley, J., (2017). Routine-biased technical change and job polarization in Europe, Socio-Economic Review