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This report is the first in a new series of monthly analyses to monitor the EU employment situation.
Making use of a wide range of sources of timely data, the monitor presents an update of the labour market situation and restructuring trends, set against a background of economic and sectoral developments.
This month it provides a special focus on developments in the larger Member States as well as an in-depth analysis of the automotive industry, and an indication of the overall social implications of the economic crisis. Every three months, there will be an update on the social situation.
This report is intended to inform the policy debate at EU and Member State level and provide guidance to support the development of further appropriate policy responses to the crisis.
The EU has already taken coordinated and effective action to counter the effects of the crisis, on employment in particular. The economic recovery plan, endorsed by all Member States last December, aims to protect and create employment, both now and in the future, including by setting out short-term measures to boost demand and by promoting major investment in infrastructure projects (by for example making full use of €5 billion of unspent money from the EU budget for key energy and internet broadband infrastructure projects).
The Commission has also proposed changes to both the European Social Fund and the European Globalisation Fund to make them more effective during the crisis and help keep more people in jobs as well as help them find new ones. Flexicurity continues to offer a useful framework for action – including by enabling the use of internal flexibility such as short-time work which helps workers stay in jobs and maintain or upgrade their skills, and will also help employers avoid the costs of recruiting and retraining when the economy picks up again.