Labour demand in Europe declines except for high-skilled professionals

20/12/2012 Labour demand in Europe declines except for high-skilled professionals

According to the December edition of the European Vacancy Monitor, the decline in labour demand had severe implications for craftsmen, operators and elementary occupations, while the demand for more skilled professionals continued to grow.

Although most of the main occupations experienced a decline in recruitment in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter of 2011 (crafts and related trades -12 %, operators and assemblers -7 %, elementary occupations -13 %), two high-skilled occupations continued to grow: professionals (+5 %) and technicians and associate professionals (+ 2%) in a broad range of sectors such as business, finance and health.

After signs of a weakening trend since the second quarter of 2011, labour demand turned to negative year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 2012 in terms of vacancies (-7 %) and job-finders (-4 %). The notification of vacancies to Public Employment Services (PES) showed mixed developments: a majority of 11 PES marked a decline down to -26 % in Slovakia, while 8 PES still showed a positive growth up to +37 % in Hungary.

A special section dedicated to the development of labour demand for older workers (55-64 years) shows that:

  • Only 6 % of all job-finders were aged 55-64 meaning lower chances for older unemployed to find a job
  • The jobs found by older workers tend to be more concentrated in elementary and medium-skilled occupations
  • A strong gender gap persists: older men are mainly recruited for (low-skilled) manual jobs in construction, transport, agriculture and manufacturing, while older women find jobs in services as cleaners, helpers, shop salespersons, child care workers, but also as high-skilled nursing and midwifery associate professionals.

European Job Mobility Bulletin

According to the December issue of the European Job Mobility Bulletin, based on the vacancies published on the EURES portal (on 1 November 2012), good job opportunities are available for:

  1. Finance and sales associate professionals (87.000 vacancies)
  2. Shop salespersons and demonstrators (66.700 vacancies)
  3. Housekeeping and restaurant services workers (40.500 vacancies)
  4. Personal care and related workers (40.300 vacancies)
  5. Modern health associate professionals, except nursing (39.000 vacancies)