This report analyses labour market and wage developments as the worst economic and financial crisis since World War II hit the European Union and its labour markets.
The report focuses on how the crisis is affecting employment trends and the functioning of the labour market, analysing the interaction with key macroeconomic variables such as productivity, wages and GDP.
It aims to contribute to the overall efforts to upgrade the monitoring of macroeconomic developments in the EU and the euro area as recommended by the EMU@10 communication. To this end, it presents an analysis of the most recent trends and prospects on participation, unemployment and employment rates on the one hand and labour costs on the other. Although the report concentrates on developments at euro area and EU27 levels, it also examines the situation in individual countries and specific measures taken to minimise the impact of the crisis on labour market and the challenges ahead.
The report looks mainly at labour market trends in 2008, against the background of developments earlier this century, but also covers recent developments as far as available figures allow (i.e. July 2009), given that the economic crisis has had a rapid and significant impact on labour market conditions, which are continuing to deteriorate fast.