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Addressing the EU’s job concerns in 2015

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Addressing the EU’s job concerns in 2015

The draft joint employment report accompanies the 2015 annual growth survey (AGS). It analyses employment and social trends in the European Union countries and their policy responses to improve the employment and social performance.

ACT

Draft Joint Employment Report from the Commission and the Council accompanying the Communication from the Commission on the Annual Growth Survey 2015 (COM(2014) 906 final of 28 November 2014).

SUMMARY

The draft joint employment report accompanies the 2015 annual growth survey (AGS). It analyses employment and social trends in the European Union countries and their policy responses to improve the employment and social performance.

WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS REPORT?

In the context of the new cycle of the European semester, the European Commission (EC) has published the 2015 AGS, focusing on how the EU may act to support job creation and growth. In particular, the AGS sets out the EU’s general economic priorities and provides the EU countries with policy guidance for the year to come.

The AGS is also accompanied by this joint employment report which analyses the employment situation in the EU and the policy responses by EU countries in regard to it.

KEY POINTS

The report shows that substantial structural reforms pay off. It also analyses the potential for improving the employment and social performance of the EU.

Main conclusions

Labour market and social trends: even if unemployment is falling slowly, it still remains high in the EU-28 at 24.6 million (10.1 %) in September 2014. The report also points out that:

long-term unemployment is still rising (5.1 % in the EU-28 in 2013);

youth unemployment remains at very high levels (21.6 % in the EU-28 in 2014) but is showing signs of improvement;

early school leaving levels are making progress towards the target of fewer than 10 % of school drop-outs by 2020;

the EU is making good progress towards the target of 40 % of 30-34-year olds completing third level education by 2020.

EU countries’ employment and social reforms: EU countries have pursued reforms in line with the 2014 European semester with effects on activity rates. Measures have been taken to remedy long-term unemployment which aim to:

reduce labour market segmentation* by simplifying EU countries’ labour law;

reduce taxation on labour to allow companies to (re)hire the young and long-term unemployed;

ensure a favourable environment for companies to promote apprenticeships;

improve skills in EU countries’ education system at all levels;

reform social protection systems to ensure that those excluded from the labour markets are protected and sheltered from poverty.

The report stresses, however, that the progress and ambition in implementing these reforms varies between EU countries. Further efforts are thus needed to ensure concrete outcomes on the ground.

Scoreboard of indicators

The report also contains the second edition of the scoreboard of key employment and social indicators introduced to strengthen the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union:

unemployment;

youth unemployment and the rate of those not in education, employment or training (NEET rate);

household disposable income;

the at-risk-of-poverty rate;

income inequalities*.

Its main findings in 2015 show persistent socioeconomic variations in the rates of unemployment, of youth unemployment and of NEET among young people. Declines in household income and increasing inequalities and poverty rates are also seen in most southern countries in the euro area (Italy, Greece, etc.).

KEY TERMS

* Labour market segmentation: where the labour market is split into sub-parts. Examples include situations where some employees have permanent contracts and others have temporary contracts, or where there are differences between conditions for migrant and non-migrant workers.

* Income inequalities: in this context, it is the comparison of the relative shares of a country’s income among the various groups within its population. Where the share of overall income is high among the richest, the poorer segments have a correspondingly lower share and inequality is higher.

For further information, see:

Last updated: 21.06.2015

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