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Towards a job-rich recovery - 19/04/2012

Six workmen with safety helmets © EU

Recommendations to national governments call for coordinated action on job creation, labour-market reforms, investment in skills, matching jobs and jobseekers, employment policies and funding.

Job creation is one of the EU’s most pressing concerns as it struggles to emerge from the economic crisis. Unemployment has risen to record highs – about 24.5 million people are unemployed, over 10% of the workforce.

In response, the Commission is making a package of recommendations – both general and sector-specific – on the best ways to boost demand for workers and help people find jobs.

The recommendations aim to provide jobseekers with more training and more job opportunities. Those in work would get help acquiring the skills they need to stay up-to-date with changing job requirements. Employers creating new jobs would also receive support.

General recommendations include:

  • encouraging job creation through support for businesses, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons, including decent and sustainable wages
  • targeting key industries where jobs are being generated: the green economy, health and social care sector, digital economy, etc.
  • using existing EU programmes to fund job creation
  • reforming labour markets to meet future demand
  • developing programmes to encourage lifelong learning and providing young people with training to advance their careers
  • investing in skills training, anticipating future job requirements
  • removing obstacles to finding a job in another EU country
  • fine-tuning schemes – including the EURES jobs database – that match jobseekers with jobs across Europe
  • improving coordination of employment policies across Europe
  • increasing the involvement of employers' and workers' groups in employment policy making.

Next steps

If implemented, the recommendations will help the EU get 75% of people aged 20-64 in work by 2020 – one of the main goals of the Europe 2020 growth strategy.

A scoreboard will keep track of progress from early 2013.

European employment strategy – creating more and better jobs

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