Greetings from Dublin!!! After this week, I will only have 3 more weeks of internship. I know, crazy right?!? Days are moving so quickly and this just means I have to make the most of it. I am so stoked to let you all know that I will be traveling to Cork tomorrow morning until Sunday night. But before you all cheer for me, check out what I learned today through the EU Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Report I have included in this post! Thanks 🙂
PS: Ya all should follow me on instagram at fred.ella to join in on what I can describe as the most phenomenal adventure yet!
Similar to most social justice issues, the number of unemployed is unevenly distributed across the low income household population. Even though the EU labour market is improving for the first time since 2011, it is important to note that long term unemployment continues to increase. Currently, there are still concerns about the quality of jobs created as employment growth mainly consists of temporary and part-time employments. However, statistics illustrate that there have been significant increases in the service sector, particularly for skilled labourers at the end of 2013 which registered a growth of 0.2% in the first quarter of 2014 (+ 0.7% compared to the first quarter of 2013).The economic and social situation of EU households has improved in Hungary, Portugal, and Ireland, and to a lesser extent in Greece and Spain. Nevertheless, unemployment rates are still high in most Member states.
Young vs. Older Population Employment
In addition to the low income household population, the labour market remains a difficult situation for young people within the age range of 15-24. For instance, youth unemployment continues to be at a high level of 22.5% in April 2014. This means about 2.5 million young women and 2.9 million young men are not working in the EU. Despite improvements in about two thirds of Member States throughout the year until April 2014, significant disparities continue to exist across the EU. Most feel discouraged to look for work due to high unemployment among the EU youth. Furthermore, while 35% of employment for young adults aged 25-39 persistently stagnated since 2009, employment for older age groups (55-64) continued to grow. A constant flow of low skilled unemployment is on the rise up to the fourth quarter of 2013 and it has become an issue for the EU since low-skilled workers account for a quarter of the EU adult population. In essence, the employment rate continued to increase for older people and decrease for younger population groups by the end of 2013.
Gender Gaps and Emigration
Although recent data illustrates that gender gaps have improved in the work force, more women are underemployed in contrast to men. Records show that large differences still exist in terms of labour market participation and working hours. This is perhaps due to domestic work and family planning related constraints. Moreover, many people from southern countries move to Germany and the UK. These countries have become the top two destination countries for intra-EU movers since 2009. Some would also head towards Austria, Belgium, and the Nordic countries, but much less towards Spain and Ireland. Most migrants consist of younger women whose employment situation varies depending on their country of origin. Since employment rates declined between 2008 and 2012, non-EU migrants were affected more than any other groups. Commonly, the country destination prioritizes their citizens in the workforce; thus, non-EU migrants are more likely to be unemployed than native born. Therefore, migrants are more likely to have temporary or part-time jobs and are often over-qualified for the jobs they do. Migrants tend to be less likely to access help from the public employment services; hence, migrants who move within the EU need more support. With high numbers of emigration within and outside the EU countries, the unemployment rate is expected to decrease slightly to 10.1% in the EU and 11.4% in the euro area in 2015.
Increase and Decrease in Service Sectors
In the first quarter of 2014, employment increased predominantly in knowledge intensive service sectors such as profession and scientific field (+1.9%), public administration, arts and entertainment (+1.0%), human health and social work activities (+0.8%), and information and communication (+0.5%). For example, employment in the information and communication increased noticeably in Estonia (+27.3%), Poland (+18.8%), and Latvia (+15.1%). The number of people working in the public administration, defence, education, human health and social work have also increased in most Member States in places such as Hungary (+6.5%), Portugal (+4.6%), and Malta (+4.5%). Fundamentally, employment growth exists within sectors such as accommodation and food service activities (+5.2%), in wholesale and retail trade (3.5%), and human health and social work related fields (+3.3%). Ireland, followed by Malta and Latvia, had the highest employment rate increase of 1.8 % point change (pp), while significant decreases occurred in Cyprus by -3.1 pp and Greece by -2.1 pp (see chart 14).
Long Term Unemployment
As stated in the beginning of this summary, long term unemployment continues to increase moderately. About 13 million people (53% of the active population in the EU) had been unemployed for at least one year. This means around 60% of long term unemployed people had been jobless for at least two consecutive years. In the last quarter of 2013, 3.1% of the active EU population were idle. For instance, more than 10% of the active population in Member States such as Greece and Spain have been unable to find a job for one year or longer. However, unemployment rates have decreased in Italy, Hungary and Latvia, and remained stable in EU Member States such as Croatia, Slovakia, and Portugal. Therefore, over 10 million EU citizens of working age emigrated and were living in another EU country to search for a stable labour market. Furthermore, higher minimum wages may not always be desirable for the overall good of society. The downside of having higher minimum wage standards is that it may discourage employers from using low skill workers at a low wage in which minimum wage policies are trying to assist. Instead, minimum wages counteracts its initial intention of assisting low skill workers and reduces the jobs available to them.
Due to higher market incomes and social benefits, households’ incomes improved for the first time in four years; however, growth is still weak. Market incomes include compensation of employees, compensation of self-employed, and property incomes that are supported by an increase in social benefits and transferred to the households. Due to the economic recovery and trends of the labour market in the second half of 2013, incomes earned from work have improved and social benefits have been added to advance market incomes. However, it is vital to note that incomes have also continued to worsen in other Member States such as Czech Republic, Greece, and Ireland. Financial distress has eased for middle income households in recent months, but those who are in lower income households are struggling. Therefore, the financial distress gap between low income households and other households has widened. This means 10% of adults in low income household are forced to run into debt, while 15% must use their savings to cover current expenditure. Although financial distress waned from 2010-2013, low income households still faced great difficulty finding employment.