The pandemic aggravated labour shortages in some sectors; the problem is now emerging in others
Following the declines in employment rates and working hours across Europe in 2020,i economies began to show signs of recovery during the first quarter of 2021. The gradual rekindling of economic activity has led to a surge in demand for workers and reawakened concerns over labour shortages.
Minimum wages rise again, but the pandemic puts a brake on their growth
Decision-makers approached minimum wage setting for 2021 cautiously due to the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Despite this, nominal statutory minimum wages rose in most Member States and the UK, although at lower rates than in recent years.
Good news for gender equality as we exit the COVID-19 crisis?
The pandemic has had differential impacts on women. Raised consciousness about them must be applied to advance gender equality in recovery measures.
Two worlds of income support during COVID-19
The employment toll of COVID-19 has been stark in Europe, and it could have been even greater had it not been for the adoption of unprecedented assistance measures in all Member States, supported by the European Union. But have these policies benefited different groups in the labour market equally, or have they cemented existing inequalities in access to support?
COVID-19: A tale of two service sectors
The employment fallout of COVID-19 has been a story of two types of service work. Office-based knowledge workers have largely kept their jobs and incomes while working from home; whereas client-facing service workers have borne the brunt of the lockdowns and the steep declines in demand for in-person services in restaurants, hotels, leisure and the arts.
New forms of employment in Europe – How new is new?
Standard employment is not simply being replaced by non-standard work; employment is becoming more diverse, and policy must accordingly become more tailored.
Restructuring: Do unions still matter?
Trade unions in many EU Member States face the issue of declining membership. This is a fundamental challenge for organised labour, but it is premature to speak about the redundancy unions: when it comes to important decisions affecting the workplace, restructuring being one, trade unions remain a powerful mechanism of employee voice.
Future of work: What can we learn from cooperatives and social enterprises?
Much of the discussion on the future of work is focused on globalisation and technology, and their impacts on the labour market. However, there is also a growing interest in the business models used by cooperatives and social enterprises, and how they can contribute to a better future of work.
Where are all the good jobs?
Economic disparities have been decreasing between EU member states over the past decade, but at the same time inequality has been growing within member states. Despite national level convergence, the gap in wealth and income between the rich and the poor is growing in most of Europe.
ICT-enabled flexible working – All plain sailing?
Imagine you’re at work and something happens: you have to leave to visit a client, you have to go home to let in the plumber, or you have to collect the kids from school as the football training has just been cancelled. If you’re lucky, your employer gives you the flexibility to do this. If you’re even luckier, it is YOU who decides upon your schedule and place of work.
Restructuring: We need to make sure those that stay behind are not forgotten
Large scale restructuring involving job loss is usually well-documented, and there is rightly a focus on what options there are for those who have lost their jobs. But what impact does all this have on those that are left behind?
Not finished at 50: Keeping older workers in work
Over the last decade, European labour markets have seen a surge in the number of older workers in work and a continuous decline in their unemployment rates. A lot of young and middle-aged workers lost their jobs in the Great Recession, but not so the older age group. This means they receive less policy attention, which is unfortunate for older workers who suddenly find themselves without a job.