Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 26/03/2019

Employment and social developments in Europe: Record number of people in employment, but more investment in skills needed

The spring edition of the Commission's Employment and Social Developments in Europe (ESDE) Quarterly Review shows that the number of people in employment and the number of hours worked continues to rise.

Cover of Employment and social developments in Europe quarterly review of March 2019

Hours worked are finally above the peak of 2008. Most of the jobs created are permanent and full time jobs. But growth is unequal and the combination of labour shortages in some Member States and the lack of growth in others is slowing down EU employment rate growth overall. 

This points to geographical and skills mismatches on the labour market. Overall, the financial situation of households continues to improve, although unevenly across Member States.

Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: “The European Union keeps breaking the record for the number of people in employment: 240 million people have now a job in the European Union, with permanent jobs on the rise. At the same time, unemployment is the lowest it has ever been this century, at 6.5% in January 2019. This positive trend has improved the wellbeing of many people. However, growth is still not benefitting all citizens in the same way. Our main task for the years ahead is to continue improving the living and working conditions all over Europe. The European Pillar of Social Rights is driving this agenda forward. And with the Skills Agenda for Europe, we are investing in people to equip them to make the best of the opportunities on the labour market.

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