EU looks positively to the future

Proposal for a Joint Employment Report presented with the start of the 2022 European Semester cycle

VS – 01/2022

The European Commission launched the 2022 European Semester cycle on 24 November 2021. The most important reports are the Annual Report on Sustainable Growth, the Alert Mechanism Report under the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure, and the proposal for a Joint Employment Report. The general purport of the three reports is positive. Together, they highlight Europe's success in implementing the COVID-19 vaccination campaign and mitigating the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, thus laying the foundation for a sustainable recovery.

Stable through the crisis - thanks to reduced working hours and social protection systems

The proposal for a Joint Employment Report analyses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment and the social situation in Europe. After that, the pandemic broke the six-year positive trend on the labour market. However, the rise in the unemployment rate has so far been moderate - thanks to the rapid introduction of short-time working schemes and similar measures by the Member States.

Average household incomes and income distribution have also remained stable - thanks to social protection systems and measures such as short-time work schemes. This is consistent with initial analyses conducted in the middle of last year that estimated the evolution of economic growth over the course of the pandemic and examined the economic growth trend should government support measures be absent. In the absence of support measures, households would have suffered much larger losses, and income losses among poorer households would have been disproportionately large.

Adolescents and young adults disproportionately affected by the effects of the pandemic on the labour market

The impact of the pandemic on the labour market has particularly affected workers in atypical employment and young people. Both groups show an above-average increase in the number of unemployed. The picture for Europe is very mixed in terms of both youth unemployment and the proportion of young people who are not in employment, education or training. While young people in the Scandinavian countries and Central Europe continue to enjoy good labour market opportunities, the situation in Southern and Southeastern Europe, which was already tense before the COVID-19 pandemic, has deteriorated further.