The Great Recession had lasting effects on European labour markets, both in terms of employment levels and structure. Not only did employment rates drop significantly – taking years to return to pre-crisis levels, with some countries not fully recovered yet – but the crisis also accelerated structural change and generalised a pattern of job polarisation across Europe. In other words, we witnessed a relative decline in mid-paid jobs compared to those at the top and bottom of the occupational structure.
This study investigates employment and occupational mobility in Europe before and after the 2008 financial crisis, with the aim of linking individual-level employment transitions to the broad labour market developments during the crisis, such as the surge in unemployment and the phenomenon of job polarisation. The analysis compares six European countries that represent different institutional clusters – France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK.