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Commission and World Bank map labour market exclusion in six EU countries

Commission and World Bank map labour market exclusion in six EU countries © Dominic Chavez/World Bank (2013)

The European Commission and the World Bank have recently unveiled a report profiling the unemployed and inactive populations in six EU countries (Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece).

"Portraits of Labour Market Exclusion" stems from a joint EC-World Bank project and relies on data from the European Union Statistics of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC).

The project contributes to some of the key priorities of the European Semester, by providing country-specific analysis, and to some of the key priorities of the Social Investment Package, such as developing activating and enabling benefits and services.

Main findings

Against the backdrop of the economic crisis and recovery in countries of Europe, the analysis yields a number of insights across countries:

  • In most countries, the number of middle-aged job losers has grown in absolute and relative terms. Households confronted with job losses are facing an increased poverty risk, owing partly to limited benefit receipts and to large household sizes.
  • An increase in the size of the NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) population was also observed in many countries, with young adults continuing to be part of multi-generational households and struggling to enter the labour market.
  • Many retirees (below 64 years) and early retirees (in this report, below 60 years) are declaring themselves to be limited in their ability to work. In many countries, the risk of poverty of the retiree and early retiree households is rather favorable in comparison to the other out-of-work population groups (low but stable retirement income, small household sizes, etc.).
  • Retired women and stay-at-home mothers can be identified as distinct categories in some countries but often show a declining trend in their numbers, signaling increased labor market participation or delayed entry into early retirement.
  • Labour market participation differences and access to services between urban and rural living contexts can be distinguished as a defining feature in some countries.