Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Crisis deepens wage polarisation

Europe’s labour market has changed radically since the golden era of job expansion (1995–2007), when nearly 30 million jobs were added in that buoyant period. The Great Recession (2008–2010) and the stalled recovery in 2011–2012 have seen a net loss of five million jobs.

This loss has been far from uniform, however. While the period was characterised by the large-scale destruction of mid-paid jobs, particularly in construction and manufacturing, at the same time the number of higher-paid jobs continued to grow, as well as the employment share of women, particularly in mid-paid and ‘good’ jobs.

The polarisation of the jobs market in terms of wages was already known, but became much more pronounced in the recession. Eurofound’s new report, Employment polarisation and job quality in the crisis: European Jobs Monitor 2013, (PDF 81pp) describes and analyses in detail the structural shifts in employment in European labour markets by wage distribution and sector/occupational category. It also sets out a new multidimensional measure of job quality, the non-pecuniary job quality index. This index is based on collecting information about a wide range of job attributes linked to workers’ well-being.

Authors: John Hurley, Enrique Fernández-Macías and Donald Storrie, Eurofound
Research project: European Jobs Monitor

An executive summary (PDF 2pp) is available

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