Labour market change

Structural change, driven largely by technology and globalisation, continually reshape the employment landscape. But even other factors such as demographic changes and new business models also have very significant implications for employment and unemployment rates, wage levels and distributions and various other aspects of the working lives of European citizens.

Since the adoption of the European employment strategy in 1997 Member States undertook to establish a set of common objectives and targets for employment policy. Its main aim is the creation of more and better jobs throughout the EU. It now constitutes part of the Europe 2020 growth strategy and it is implemented through the European Semester, an annual process promoting close policy coordination among EU Member States and EU institutions.

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Eurofound's work

Eurofound provides information on various aspects of the labour market adjustment to structural change and how at both Member State and European level this adjustment can best promote better living and working conditions. Restructuring is a central focus of our activities as is the study of emerging new forms of employment and the distribution of wages. Particular attention is devoted to the implications for various groups such as youth and women.

Key contributions

Recent work in this area has highlighted costs of the gender employment gap and assessed the effectiveness of policy measures promoting the labour market participation of women.

An ongoing research strand examines new forms of employment that differ from traditional employment. The initial report describes nine new forms of employment that have emerged since 2000, while the latest report looks at one specific type: strategic employee sharing.

The European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) annual report for 2016 looks at the current situation regarding offshoring in Europe, an issue that has caused some concern due to its potential impact on employment.

The European Jobs Monitor (EJM) has for several years pioneered the tasks-based approach to better understand the changing employment structure in Europe. The 2016 EJM report examines in some detail the implications of structural change on the nature of work actually performed in Europe. 

The ERM also provides a major information resource on restructuring, with a current database of over 21,000 factsheets on restructuring events in Europe, dating back to 2002.