Labour Market Fact Sheet - February 2011

The labour market in the EU has remained broadly stable, with consistent signs of recovery in some Member States, according to the latest Monthly Labour Market Fact Sheet released by the European Commission. Despite the moderate economic recovery though, conditions are generally set to remain weak for some time. It is therefore vital that we limit the negative consequences of fiscal austerity on the labour market and on the wider society. The decline in employment in the EU has stopped since the second quarter last year, while the unemployment rate in the EU has remained remarkably static at 9.6% in December 2010. This is the same cyclical high for the past eleven months. The labour market for young people in the EU is still depressed and continues to show worrying developments. Although the youth unemployment rate did not rise further in December compared to November, it is still at 21 % in the EU - its highest level since the beginning of the crisis. In this context immediate action is needed for the reduction of segmentation in the labour market. This could be done through altering employment protection legislation, or by extending the use of open-ended contractual arrangements with a gradual increase of protection rights. 

author(s): European Commission, DG Employment and Social Affairs
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