The number of jobless rises and social concerns persist.
The latest EU Employment and Social Situation Quarterly review released today by the European Commission shows that, after a moderate recovery during 2010 and early 2011, the European labour market contracted again in the second half of 2011. Since spring 2011 the number of unemployed has been steadily increasing. This new rise has added 1.6 million jobless, with the unemployment rate hitting a new high at 10.1 % in January 2012. All large Member States, including Germany, are now facing deteriorating labour market prospects, while divergence in performance remains high across Member States. This latest review takes a closer look at the labour markets and social situation in Greece, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia and Romania. It also analyses the situation in the agricultural sector, extended to the agri-food industry.
To address the challenges Europe's labour markets are facing, next April the European Commission will present an employment package. This package will identify opportunities for labour market reforms and job creation (for example green jobs, white jobs, ICT sector) and set out how EU funds can be used to make long-term investments in human capital.