The European Commission's latest report shows
that the labour market situation and the social situation of young people are
more affected by the pandemic compared to the general population and are
recovering more slowly. The annual Employment and Social Situation in
Europe Report is an
important instrument of the European Commission in matters of employment and
social affairs. It contains current economic analyses as well as related
proposals for political action.
Results of the report
The latest Employment and Social Situation Report in Europe shows that young people suffer the
most from job losses as a result of the poor economic situation caused by the
coronavirus pandemic. This trend also regressed more slowly among them.
Possible explanations are linked to their high share of fixed-term
contracts and difficulties in finding a first job after leaving school,
university, or training. The new report
helps in framing employment and social policies to make young people
economically independent, especially as the socio-economic situation continues
to deteriorate as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Specifically, the report shows:
recovery from the coronavirus pandemic was uneven. Young people (under 30)
still have problems finding a job and one that matches their skills and
likings. While youth unemployment declined in 2021, especially towards the end
of the year, it remained one percentage point higher than before the crisis (2019).
Of those in employment, almost one in two young people (45.9 per cent) had a
temporary contract – compared to one in ten across all workers (10.2 per cent).
average, young people are more likely to face a difficult social and financial
situation. Even before the pandemic, the income of young people was more
volatile than that of older people. Households of young people were more often
affected by poverty, although there are clear differences within the EU, and
youth faced problems covering their fixed costs such as rent.
difficulties of young people depend on their level of education and
socio-economic background. Those with secondary education are 19 percentage
points less likely than those with lower levels of education to be unable to
enter the labour market or a training programme. This risk is 28 percentage
points lower for those with tertiary education. Young people from disadvantaged
backgrounds are even less likely to find their way into working life or into a
leads to further inequalities among young people. The economic situation of
young women is worse than that of young men: On average, young women in the EU
earn 7.2 per cent less than their male counterparts. This gap widens with age.
Only a small part of this pay gap – 0.5 percentage points – at EU level is due
to educational qualification, occupational choice, work experience or the form
of the employment contract.
Employment and social policy measures for young people
The report's analyses show how the challenges
faced by young people can be tackled. In particular, employment and social
policy measures should:
- enhance the integration of young people into the labour market,
young people to acquire skills,
labour mobility, a building block for a successful and crisis-proof working
- reduce risks for young people such as unemployment, illness, poverty or debt,
young people in building wealth and property.
EU already supports young citizens with various programmes, e.g. via the Youth Guarantee with its Employment Initiative for Youth in regions with high youth
unemployment and with the current initiative ALMA (Aim, Learn, Master, Achieve) for disadvantaged young people. In 2023, the
European Commission intends to review the Council Recommendation on a Quality
Framework for Traineeships, in particular with regard to working conditions. A high-level group of experts is currently examining how
young people can also be provided with better social security. The results
should be available early next year.