Today, the Commission has published the report 'Labour Market and Wage Developments in Europe 2018', confirming the sustained positive trends with record figures for employment and steady drops of the EU unemployment rate.
However, total hours worked remain below the pre-crisis level. Hidden unemployment of part-time workers and discouraged workers who have given up on searching for a job remain a challenge. The analysis also shows that wages have started to grow again, although the existing labour slack, low inflation and low productivity growth prevent wages from rising even more. This is why the report recommends policies that boost productivity growth, in particular those that favour an adaptable and skilled workforce and support the adoption of innovative work practices.
Welcoming the report, Marianne Thyssen, the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: “These findings are a further sign that the EU is on the right track towards better living and working conditions. But they also show that there can be no room for complacency. We must continue to invest in people's skills, to make sure they are prepared for today's labour market. In little more than a week, our third European Vocational Skills Week will kick-off, highlighting the benefits of vocational learning to develop in skills. Better skills lead to increased productivity, which ultimately will translate in higher wages.”
The report also finds that wages in Central and Eastern European countries rose faster than in the rest of the European Union, pointing towards real wage convergence.