EU minimum wages grew cautiously amid COVID-19 economic uncertainty
The economic uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic slowed, but did not stop, overall minimum wage growth in the EU in 2021. Minimum wages were raised cautiously in most Member States, with the median country recording an increase of 3%. Only a few Member States froze their minimum wage rates, marking a very different approach to that taken in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
Portugal records highest trust in the EU, among Member States
The trust of people in Portugal in the European Union is the highest across all Member States, according to Eurofound’s large-scale Living, working and COVID-19 survey. With 5.9, it is significantly higher than the EU average at 4.6. Trust in the EU in Portugal has increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic from 5.2 in April 2020 to 5.4 during the summer of last year to 5.9 in spring 2021.
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.
Trust in national government has declined in Sweden throughout the COVID-19 pandemic
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, trust of people in Sweden in their national government has declined from 6.4 to 5.1. Respondents rated their trust levels at the onset of the pandemic (data collection April 2020) at 6.4 on average, which decreased to 5.5 during the summer months of last year and then to 5.1 in February and March of this year.
Denmark only EU country where trust in national government increased since summer 2020
Trust in the national government in Denmark ranked highest among EU countries at 7 out of 10, according to Eurofound’s large-scale Living, working and COVID-19 online survey. This marked an increase of 0.5 points compared to the summer of last year. This pattern goes against the trend observed in all other EU Member States, where the average trust rating fell to just 3.9 from 4.6.
Reduced feeling of financial strain in Italy
Pessimism about one’s future financial situation has decreased in Italy compared to summer 2020, according to Eurofound’s large-scale Living, working and COVID-19 online survey. In February 2021, over one fifth (22.5%) of people in Italy expected a worsening of their situation compared to 27.6% in June/July of last year.
Trust in national governments plummets, threatening social cohesion across EU
Trust in institutions has plummeted across the EU with trust in national governments in particular sending alarm signals across numerous Member States.
Over a quarter of adults in EU indicate they are unlikely to take COVID-19 vaccine
Over a quarter (27%) of adults in the EU are vaccine hesitant, with 29% of men and 25% of women indicating that they were either ‘very unlikely’ or ‘rather unlikely’ to take the COVID-19 vaccine in Eurofound’s large-scale Living, working and COVID-19 online survey.
COVID-19 could be a catalyst for fundamental change that will define the Future of Europe
On 9 May, the Conference on the Future of Europe will get underway. Floated well before the COVID-19 outbreak, its timing in the wake of the seismic shifts precipitated by the pandemic, and its implementation alongside the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, means that the outcomes could be far-reaching.
COVID-19 could compound disadvantage for workers with disabilities
The COVID-19 pandemic is having negative and far-reaching consequences on labour market participation and social inclusion, which may further disadvantage people with disabilities.
Short-time working schemes could be paramount for Europe’s long-term pandemic response
Short-time work or similar measures were implemented in all EU Member States during 2020 and contributed greatly to limiting the rise in unemployment that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, further success was hampered by varying levels of income protection between countries, as well as limitations in coverage.
COVID-19 costs 6 million jobs as Europe slides into inactivity
There were 5.7 million fewer people in employment in the EU by spring 2020 than at the end of 2019, and 6.3 million fewer compared with the trend growth that could have been expected before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The effects of COVID-19 on education, healthcare and housing put pressure on EU Child Guarantee
Eurofound’s new policy brief on ‘Education, healthcare and housing - How access changed for children and families in 2020’ focuses on the aspects of accessibility for children and families for which Eurofound has data and highlights differences in accessibility before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Choosing to challenge – the EU Gender Equality Strategy one year in
This year’s theme to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March is Choose to Challenge (or #ChooseToChallenge, if you prefer). The idea is to highlight that ‘from challenge comes change’ and that ‘we can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality’.
Charting a positive path for platform workers
While 2020 may come to be seen as the year platform work gathered pace and started to go mainstream – thanks in large part to COVID-19 containment measures sparking an increase in food and grocery delivery – 2021 could be the year that regulation of platform work is set in motion.
Eurofound launches third round of its online survey Living, working and COVID-19
Eurofound’s Living, working and COVID-19 online survey aims to capture the far-reaching implications of the pandemic for the way people live and work across Europe. Two rounds of the online survey have been carried out to date. The third round is launched today, 15 February, and will be open until 29 March 2021.
Eurofound publishes updated, standardised minimum wage data for 2021
Eurofound has published updated monthly comparable data, converted to euro and standardised across 12 months, for 21 EU Member States and the United Kingdom for 2021
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?
Minimum wages in 2021: Most countries settle for cautious increase
Nominal statutory minimum wages in most Member States and the UK continued to rise in 2021. With inflation being low, this has resulted in real increases for those minimum wage workers who have managed to retain their jobs and the same working hours.
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.