The situation in the labour markets of the
European Union is resilient and adaptable despite a few crises, such as the war
in Ukraine and the current high inflation. The employment rate is at a record
high of almost 75 per cent and the unemployment rate is currently very low at
six per cent. These results are shown in the annual Report of
the European Commission on Employment and the Social Developments in Europe
(ESDE). The report provides an up-to-date economic
analysis of employment and social trends in Europe and takes a look at possible
policy options for improvement.
Employed, but qualified?
Despite the current figures, the reality is
different from the numerical survey. Business and industry continue to complain
about the acute shortage of skilled workers that needs to be addressed. Finding
competent and qualified workers is the main problem. The construction industry,
the health sector and especially occupations in the field of information and
communication technologies (ICT) are strongly affected. The shortage could
increase further due to demographic change, low birth rates and the decline in
the working-age population.Accordingly, 2023 has been declared "the
year of competences" by the European Commission. The German Social
Insurance (DSV) had reported on this News
01/2023. October last year, measures were announced to
address the shortage of skilled workers across Europe. More than ever,
investment in adult education and vocational education and training programmes
should provide long-term relief.
Recommendations of the ESDE report
The report focuses on various employment and
social issues such as long-term unemployment, mobility and migration, people
and their skills, and the modernisation of social security systems. It is
important to the European Commission that the promotion of active inclusion in
the labour market is strengthened in order to improve the labour market
participation of employable people. Nicolas Schmit, EU Commissioner for
Employment and Social Rights, sees the report as a guide to enable Member
States to take concrete policy action to support upward economic convergence.
An essential step is education and training and individual support towards
inclusive participation in working life.
Distinct manifestation of the social situation
Across Europe, differences in schooling,
pension systems or access to social services remain large. The report states
that especially people with a low level of education, younger people and people
with a migration background are more disadvantaged than other groups of people.
The European economy and citizens should be better prepared for a future of
ever faster structural change. Better training and retraining opportunities
should be made more accessible and available, regardless of status and income.
The EU and Member States should make better use of the opportunities that a
transition to a greener, digitised economy is increasingly enabling.
Sustainable economic and labour market recovery
is a key objective of the European Commission to also achieve social resilience
in the EU. The ESDE report will continue to highlight shortcomings and
improvements in Member States in its annual publications. However, the
implementation of the recommendations is the responsibility of the Member