Survey - Europeans gloomy about job prospects.
One in three Europeans is “very concerned” about losing their job, and even more are worried their spouse or children will find themselves out of work in the months ahead.
The findings, from an EU-commissioned survey conducted in June, come as no surprise. Europe is struggling to pull itself out of the deepest recession in the post-war era, with the economy likely to contract 4% this year. Monetary and fiscal stimulus efforts are expected to kick in in 2010 – but not until the economy has shed some 8.5 million jobs.
"Understandably Europeans are concerned about the impact of the crisis on their jobs and families," said employment commissioner Vladimír Špidla. "That's why action has been taken at a European level since the very beginning of the crisis to limit its impact on jobs.”
He cited the EU’s proposal for a system of microcredit - small loans to help people start their own businesses or expand existing companies.
The commission also wants to make more funding immediately available for job training and expand the scope of a fund for helping workers adjust to changes in global trade.
Asked what they thought about such policies, seven out of 10 Europeans surveyed said they are having a positive impact. And a third support more EU funding for job creation.
At least 4 million people have lost their jobs in the last year, with unemployment rates rising faster among the young. The EU statistics agency reports that unemployment among Europeans under 25 topped 18% in the first three months of the year - more than twice the 8.3% rate for the entire workforce.
To help young people get a foothold in the job market, the commission is seeking an EU-wide commitment from companies to take on 5 million more apprentices or trainees.