Half of the unemployed people are currently long-term unemployed, that is, unemployed for more than 12 months. Long-term unemployment has implications for society as a whole, with dire social consequences for the persons concerned and a negative impact on growth and public finances. Long-term unemployment is one of the causes of persistent poverty.
Addressing long-term unemployment is a key employment challenge of the Commission's jobs and growth strategy.
The Council Recommendation puts forward three key steps:
This will lead to simplified and better access to support for those out of work for long periods.
The job integration agreement should consist of a tailor-made plan to bring the long-term unemployed back to work. It can include, depending on the existing services in each Member State:
Each long-term unemployed will have a single point of contact for accessing this support.
Member States have committed to an active involvement and partnership with employers, who should be more involved in finding a pathway back to work for the long-term unemployed.
In October 2016 the employment ministers of all EU Member States endorsed a framework to monitor the implementation of the Council Recommendation. The first data collection will take place in mid-2017.