Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 30/07/2018

The Social Scoreboard

On 15th March, the EPSCO Council adopted the 2018 Joint Employment Report. The report takes a snapshot of the employment and social situation across the EU, and highlights the extent of reforms carried out in the Member States over the past year.

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In 2018 the Joint Employment Report (JER) presents for the first time the Social Scoreboard that monitors Member States' performance in relation to the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Pillar, signed as an inter-institutional Proclamation by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on 17 November 2017, identifies principles and rights in three areas:

  • equal opportunities and access to the labour market,
  • fair working conditions
  • social protection and inclusion

The Social Scoreboard allows to detect key employment and social problems and to assess convergence or divergence patterns across Member States. The 2018 Joint Employment Report presents the following 12 indicators of the Social Scoreboard:

  • Equal opportunities and access to the labour market:
    • Share of early leavers from education and training, age 18-24
    • Gender gap in employment rate, age 20-64
    • Income inequality measured as quintile share ratio - S80/S20
    • At-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rate (AROPE)
    • Young people neither in employment nor in education or training (NEET rate), age 15-24
  • Dynamic labour markets and fair working conditions:
    • Employment rate, age 20-64
    • Unemployment rate, age 15-74
    • Gross disposable income of households in real terms, per capita
  • Public support / Social protection and inclusion:
    • Impact of social transfers, other than pensions, on poverty reduction (measured as the difference, among total population, between the share of people at risk of poverty rate before and after social transfers )
    • Children aged less than 3 years in formal childcare
    • Self-reported unmet need for medical care
    • Share of population with basic overall digital skills or above.

Following a methodology agreed within EMCO and SPC committees the Member States’ performance is analysed looking jointly at levels and changes of each indicator in comparison with the respective EU averages. Based on their performance, the Member States are classified in seven groups, namely: "best performers", "better than average", "good but to monitor", "on average/neutral", "weak but improving", "to watch" and "critical situations". The methodology is explained in detail in Annex 4 of the JER.

As a way to further integrate the Social Scoreboard in European Semester, the 2018 Country Reports have provided an in-depth analysis of country-specific challenges identified by the Social Scoreboard (notably "critical situations"). Together with further analysis included in the Employment Performance Monitor and the Social Protection Performance Monitor, this provided an analytical basis for the Commission proposals for Country Specific Recommendations as adopted on 23 May 2018.

The Table below provides a summary of the scoreboard analysis. Most Member States are flagged at least once with a challenge on headline indicators, except for Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

 Note: On 19 January 2018, GDHI per capita growth not available for HR, LU and MT; individuals' level of digital skills for 2017 not available for IT.

Greece, Romania and Italy report "critical", "to watch", or "weak but improving" situations (“challenges”) on ten or more indicators. In that group, Greece and Romania present the largest number of "critical situations". In the case of Greece, critical situations are spread across all the three areas. For Romania, they are mostly concentrated in the "equal opportunities and access to labour market" and "public support / social protection and exclusion" areas.

In terms of overall count, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Spain (8 challenges each), Croatia (7 challenges), Latvia and Portugal (6 challenges each) follow. By contrast, Denmark is a best performer or better than average in 11 headline indicator, followed by Sweden (10 indicators), Austria and Czech Republic (9 indicators) and the Netherlands (8 indicators).

The next edition of the Joint Employment Report will present a detailed analysis of updated indicators.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission.

Editor's note: this article is part of a regular series called "Evidence in focus", which will put the spotlight on key findings from past and on-going research at DG EMPL.

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