EU Commission: Report on “Labour Market and Wage Developments in Europe”. Employment up, but worsening living conditions

(Brussels) Job creation in the EU “has so far proven to be resilient” despite a difficult economic environment. Standing at 241 million, the number of people employed in the EU is at its highest level since the start of the century, as anticipated in yesterday’s Autumn Economic Forecast. This is confirmed by the 2019 Report “Labour Market and Wage Developments in Europe” published by the European Commission today. According to Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, despite this “positive” trend, “challenges remain” which is why “building skills” is “more important than ever”. In other words, according to Commissioner Thyssen, “investment in education and training remains the key policy action for the years to come”. The Report shows that the fall in unemployment was stronger than expected, due to economic growth, even in high unemployment countries (Croatia, Greece, Spain and Portugal, but not in Italy). The Report also points to improvements in “structural features of the labour market, thanks to the reforms enacted after the 2008 crisis”. Wages are increasing, although at a moderate pace, especially in Central and Eastern European countries. However, while the number of persons below the poverty threshold has deceased, it is shocking to see “a worsening of their living conditions in about half of the Member States”.

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