Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 18/11/2020

Commission publishes proposal for a Joint Employment Report 2021

The proposal for a Joint Employment Report analyses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the employment and social situation in Europe.

According to the report, the COVID-19 crisis has broken a six-year long positive trend on the labour market. The total number of people in employment and the employment rate have dropped significantly, though the increase in the unemployment rate has been moderate so far thanks to the swift adoption of short-time work schemes and similar measures. Member States that already experienced serious socio-economic challenges before the pandemic are now even more exposed to vulnerabilities.

The economic shock to the labour market is being experienced differently across sectors and categories of workers. The employment fall has affected workers in non-standard forms of employment to a greater extent. Youth unemployment has increased more markedly than unemployment for other age groups. The share of young people not in employment, education or training has risen sharply. Non-EU born workers have also been severely affected.

The Commission will continue to closely monitor all labour market and social developments, regularly updating the Employment Performance Monitor and Social Protection Performance Monitor. In the exceptional 2021 European Semester the Joint Employment Report will additionally help Member States identify priority areas for reforms and investment to be included in their recovery and resilience plans, against the background of the Employment Guidelines.

Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, said: “The COVID-19 crisis has broken a 6-year long positive trend on the labour market, which has affected all Europeans, particularly the young, and those on temporary or atypical contracts. The EU will continue to mobilise all resources at its disposal and support Member States in their efforts to mitigate the socioeconomic consequences of the crisis, to protect workers, preserve jobs and ease job transitions towards the green and digital economy. We must focus our efforts on skills and training to adapt to the post-COVID-19 labour market. It is crucial that in a crisis, we reach out to the most vulnerable in society, and place extra emphasis on fighting poverty, exclusion and inequalities.”

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