The new report underlines how young people have borne the brunt of the crisis, with unemployment disproportionately hitting 15-24 year olds and reaching over 30% in some countries.
The rise in unemployment combined with limited opportunities to re-enter work has aggravated the risk of a surge in long-term unemployment or people leaving the labour market altogether. The report stresses that it might be some time before we see a clear upswing for jobs.
It covers in particular the impact of the labour market recovery measures adopted by Member States since the beginning of the crisis and also structural obstacles faced by young people in EU labour markets.
Assessing the possibilities of reinforcing existing measures, and the necessity of their phasing out as the crisis fades, is even more relevant now in times of fiscal consolidation. The report shows, for instance, that temporary public financial support in the form of in-work subsidies improves job opportunities for all groups, but can be particularly effective if specifically targeted at younger workers.
The crisis also highlighted the negative consequences of labour market segmentation between "insiders", or those working in protected regular contracts, and "outsiders", those in temporary jobs
As the report argues, more effective labour market inclusion can be achieved through the implementation of comprehensive flexicurity policy packages. This could include, as set out in the flagship initiative 'Agenda for new skills and jobs', to extend the use of open-ended contractual arrangements with a sufficiently long probation period and a gradual increase of protection rights, access to training, life-long learning and career guidance for all employees. This would aim to reduce the existing divisions between those holding temporary and permanent contracts.