The Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion has published a working paper analysing the impact of demographic ageing on future employment growth.
The analysis shows that some of the economically strongest EU Member States will find themselves confronted with serious employment growth constraints due to labour supply bottlenecks already within the next 5 years, even under extremely optimistic activity assumptions.
Several other Member States will face labour constraints over the next decade.
Given the strong inertia of demographics, even total EU employment will start shrinking at the latest in 10 to 20 years from now.
Labour supply constraints will arise considerably earlier in the case of highly educated workers.
One of the authors' conclusion is therefore: if European economies are to continue growing at a welfare-maintaining pace, the focus must be on productivity growth, which will remain the only renewable source of economic growth in the long run.