Unemployment, under-employment or inactivity - Estimating labour market slack in Europe

The focus on addressing unemployment ought not to distract from the potentially equally important task of strengthening the labour market attachment of various categories of inactive citizens. According to recent Eurostat analysis, 5% of the working population classified as inactive are either seeking a job but not immediately available for work or available for work but not seeking it (discouraged workers). At the same time, there is evidence of an increasing share of workers working fewer hours than they wish (for example those in ‘involuntary part-time’ work).

This project, based primarily on in-house data analysis, develops a descriptive taxonomy of the non- and marginally labour market-attached, identifying sub-categories of the unemployed, inactive and under-employed. It uses EU-LFS data to describe recent developments at EU and national level in terms of this taxonomy, offering a more nuanced estimate of labour market reserve/slack. The policy objective of the project is to help identify particular labour market categories where employment outcomes can be improved.

The full report is now available online as well as the executive summary.


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