The economic recovery which started in the EU in the spring of 2013 remains subdued and recent GDP forecasts for the EU have been revised down.
However, despite the weak macroeconomic background, employment has shown a small but consistent growth in the EU since mid-2013, according to the latest Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review.
As the Review shows, all types of employment are growing. This means not only temporary and part-time employment, but also permanent and full time. However, the return to pre-crisis unemployment levels is less rapid than hoped for.
Many challenges remain, in particular long-term unemployment and low employment opportunities for youth (15-24) and young adults aged 25-39.
The unemployment rate of young people has fallen significantly in the EU but remains very high. Long-term unemployment is a growing problem in the EU. In the second quarter of 2014, a total of 12.4 million people (5.1% of the labour force) had been unemployed for more than one year, and more than half of these had been unemployed for more than two years. In Greece and Cyprus, long-term unemployment rates have reached historic highs.
The growth in household income (GHDI) in the EU continued, but at a slower pace. Fragile economic recovery and challenges in the labour market have impacted on the modest developments in the situation of households and individuals. The easing in financial distress in low-income households, observed in the first half of 2014, appears to have halted in recent months.