EU 2020 employment target: an achievable goal?

Employment and Social Affairs

The economic crisis is making it harder for Europe to meet its employment target. As showed by the EU Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review, the tentative recovery which started in the spring of 2013 appears to have lost some momentum and, therefore, future developments in employment remain uncertain.

Employment rate has increased in the majority of the EU member states since mid-2013 and in most of the sectors, but is still below the Europe 2020 target and the levels reached in 2008 in three quarters of the countries as shown in the figure. Furthermore, the increase in employment was slower in the Euro Area rather than in the EU28, and it was mainly the result of a rise in temporary contracts and part-time work.

Unemployment rates hide marked differences between Member States. As a matter of facts, long-term unemployment is a problem in countries like Greece and Spain, where it has reached historic peaks suggesting deep mismatches in these labour markets.

Youth unemployment has recorded significantly lower levels compared to a year ago but it is more than twice the overall unemployment rate, and is still growing in some countries such as Italy. This situation underlines the importance of continued policy intervention to support the creation of more and better jobs and the necessity of developing relevant skills in order to improve the matching process in EU labour markets.

Related Articles

Back to Top