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News>EU employment down

EU Employment down and rising social concerns across Europe
January 10, 2012 - The latest EU Employment and Social Situation Quarterly review released today by the European Commission shows that, after a moderate labour market recovery which lasted until the middle of 2011, European employment is down again. In parallel, unemployment, steadily increasing since the Spring, has now reached a historically high level cancelling out all of the previous improvements, while long-term unemployment accounts for an ever higher share of total unemployment. Most groups are affected but especially hard hit are the young, the low-skilled and migrants. The number of underemployed part-time workers and of people available for work but not seeking it anymore has also increased. Poverty is on the rise in many Member States, especially the peripheral ones. Young adults, children and single parents are particularly at risk. A recent study shows that on-going fiscal consolidation measures may aggravate further the situation of the most vulnerable if they are not carefully designed to avoid regressive distributive effects.

The EU economy grew modestly in the third quarter of 2011, although not enough to stabilise employment. The growth rate was 0.3 % quarter-on-quarter, while the annual growth rate declined from 1.7 % to 1.4 %. Growth forecasts for the EU were downgraded, also because the international environment became weaker. Whereas employment in the European Union moderately recovered during the year to the second quarter of 2011, it is again on a downward trend since the third quarter with a drop by 0.1 %. With this negative trend since summer 2011, more Member States are recording employment slowdown or decrease. With a new phase of steady increase since spring 2011, also European unemployment has reached a historically high level, at 9.8 %. The moderate recovery between spring 2010 and spring 2011 was not shared by all countries and, by the end of 2011, few countries are still on a downward trend while the recent worsening was particularly harsh in some Member States

Source: "Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review: December 2011 - EU employment down and rising social concerns across Europe", Europa, January 10, 2012


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