Thursday, 11 August 2016

Current changes to the labour market may well define the future of Europe

In this blog piece, based on Eurofound’s contribution to the July 2016 informal meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO), Eurofound Director Juan Menéndez-Valdés looks at how the European labour market has changed in recent years and assesses future challenges.

Most discussions on the future of work are dominated by the impact of key changes in society, such as the digital revolution and demographic changes. These changes raise various issues of concern, sometimes suggesting contradictory trends such as labour shortages linked to an ageing population, or new technologies resulting in job loss. Migration and mobility are discussed as part of the solution, but also present important challenges of their own. Eurofound’s research analyses the structural changes that are ongoing in European labour markets in order to inform and complement these discussions, as well as identifying any additional issues.

Europe currently faces the challenge of labour market segmentation, which can result in a divided landscape of winners and losers, with very different experiences and perceptions of European integration and globalisation more generally.

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