Tag Archives: Flexibility

Joint Employment Report 2005/2006

Joint Employment Report 2005/2006

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Joint Employment Report 2005/2006

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Social and employment situation in europe

Joint Employment Report 2005/2006

The report on the annual situation follows the previous report without making any real changes to its conclusions. This document concludes that it is essential to move up a gear in implementing the Lisbon Strategy. It takes stock of the progress made by the Member States in implementing the guidelines for growth. Despite the effectiveness of certain reforms, this report considers that the Member States should be more ambitious, particularly as regards the development of human capital.

Document or Iniciative

Joint Employment Report 2005/2006 – More and Better Jobs: Delivering the Priorities of the European Employment Strategy

Summary

The joint employment report highlights the guidelines of the European Employment Strategy with a view to achieving the objectives of the Lisbon strategy. It is based on the decisions taken at the European Council of March 2006, and on the comments on the Member States in the European Commission’s 2006 annual report on growth and employment. This evaluation is not an assessment of the overall policies or systems in the relevant areas.

This document does nevertheless ascertain the need to speed up implementation of the Lisbon strategy. The European economy has the potential to make a substantial step forward in creating more and better jobs.

The report draws conclusions from the reforms carried out in the Member States which have helped to raise the employment content of growth, encourage wage developments, and lower rates of unemployment. For the EU as a whole, however,

the scope of reform has lacked ambition. The report emphasises the lack of progress made in fuelling more economic and employment growth.

Achievements and shortcomings

More ambitious policies should result in a sizeable increase in economic growth and in lifting the employment rate well above the current 63.3% stated in this document towards the 70% employment rate target by 2010.

Despite some progress over the years, such as the increase in employment rates of women and older people, the overall employment rate remains 7 percentage points or some 20 million jobs below the 2010 target. Long-term unemployment rose to 4.1%, this figure including youth unemployment which stands at around double the overall rate. Regional employment and unemployment disparities also remain widespread.

Attracting more people to the labour market is a priority for the Member States, and this objective is, of course, welcome. In order to make such policies effective, this approach should be complemented by a lifecycle approach. There is also a need to review the structure and sources of financial investments in education and lifelong learning.

The application of the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) is in line with the country-specific Employment Recommendations. The report does, however, contain evidence that government ownership of the strategy at national level seems well articulated, but there is less indication that the agenda is shared across society and is firmly built on social partnerships for reform.

According to this report, progress in terms of increased quality at work remains mixed. Participation in lifelong learning has risen, as have youth education levels, but few Member States pay attention to the synergies between improved quality and productivity at work and to developing employment.

The report emphasises the lack of importance attached to the adaptability of workers and enterprises. In many Member States, the current balance between flexibility and security has led to increasingly segmented labour markets, with the risk of augmenting the precariousness of jobs and limiting human capital accumulation.

Avenues to be explored

The European Employment Strategy (ESS), which is the employment section of the Lisbon strategy, is based around three key objectives for meeting the conditions required to improve Europe’s employment performance. These are:

  • full employment;
  • productivity;
  • quality at work, and social and territorial cohesion.

The employment guidelines, which determine the “employment” aspect of the NRPs, provide the policy framework to focus action. The aim is to:

  • attract and retain more people in employment, increase labour supply and modernise social protection systems;
  • improve the adaptability of workers and enterprises;
  • increase investment in human capital through better education and skills.

In order to better focus further implementation of the Lisbon strategy, the report asks the Member States to take account of the following aspects:

  • demographic trends should encourage politicians to adopt a lifecycle-based approach to labour, with a view to facilitating employment and career transitions. It is crucial that these active policies operate in better synergy with social protection instruments;
  • particular attention must be paid to labour supply and improving employment opportunities for target groups such as young people, women, older workers, people with disabilities and immigrants and minorities;
  • both demand and supply measures are crucial for Europe to address globalisation and facilitate the transition to a knowledge based economy. This is why measures for those with low skills and low pay on the margins of the labour market need more focus;
  • human capital development is crucial, thus the importance of paying more attention to the provision of financial incentives for education and lifelong learning, and to improving the efficiency of investment in human capital;
  • the implementation of strategies aimed at improving the adaptability of workers and enterprises, including labour mobility, need to be developed. Member States should address flexibility combined with employment security, and avoid labour market segmentation by taking as their basis a set of common principles on flexicurity drawn up by the Commission together with the Member States and social partners.

In 2007, the assessment of the Member States’ labour market performance will provide a sound basis for maintaining the momentum for reform and may lead, if necessary, to country specific recommendations. Bilateral contacts between the Commission and the Member States will be beneficial and help to improve governance of the strategy in the field of employment.

Related Acts

Draft Joint Employment Report 2004/2005 [COM(2005) 13 final – Not published in the Official Journal.]

Draft Joint Employment Report 2003/2004 [COM(2004) 24 final – Not published in the Official Journal.]

Draft Joint Employment Report 2002 [COM(2002) 621 final – Not published in the Official Journal.]

Draft Joint Employment Report 2001 [COM(2001) 438 final – Not published in the Official Journal.]

Joint Employment Report 2000 – Part I: The European Union – Part II: Member States [COM(2000) 551 final – Not published in the Official Journal.]

Draft Joint Employment Report 1999 [SEC(1999) 1386 – Not published in the Official Journal.]

Draft Joint Employment Report 1998 [SEC(1998) 551 – Not published in the Official Journal.]

Joint employment report 2006/2007

Joint employment report 2006/2007

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Joint employment report 2006/2007

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Social and employment situation in europe

Joint employment report 2006/2007

The joint employment report states that the labour market reforms in the European Union (EU) are beginning to bear fruit. Unemployment is falling while employment is rising. Achieving Europe’s employment objectives, however, still requires a lot of effort. Whilst investment in education and skills is up, policy implementation to improve the adaptability of workers and enterprises is lagging far behind. This report, like previous reports, emphasises the need for more stringent reforms in order to strike a better balance between flexibility and security in the labour market.

Document or Iniciative

Joint employment report 2006/2007

Summary

The joint employment report reiterates the main priorities of the European Employment Strategy (EES). It reports on the advances and shortcomings of employment policies since the publication of the previous joint employment report.

The EES is built around three priorities:

  • to attract and retain more people in employment, increase labour supply and modernise social protection systems;
  • to improve the adaptability of workers and enterprises;
  • to increase investment in human capital through better education and skills.

Of these priorities, Member States pay the greatest attention to attracting and retaining more people in employment. The implementation of policies to increase investment in human capital through better education and skills is also progressing. Policy implementation to improve the adaptability of workers and enterprises, on the other hand, is lagging behind.

The report emphasises that the poor take-up of policies to improve the adaptability of workers is especially worrying. Reforms of legislation relating to contracts and greater investment in training would allow easier job transitions and provide more opportunities for workers to progress.

Progress in achieving the Community’s employment objectives

The report states that the Member States’ policies, which are built around the priorities of the EES, should promote the following employment objectives:

  • full employment;
  • quality and productivity at work;
  • social and territorial cohesion.

Unemployment fell from 9.1 % in 2004 to 8,8 % in 2005 and the employment rate rose by 0.8 % in 2005, which is the largest increase since 2001. The employment gender gap narrowed further and there were further increases in employment for older workers, with the employment rate increasing from 41% in 2004 to 42.5% in 2005. 22 million new jobs do, however, still need to be created to achieve the EU’s employment objectives by 2010 and youth unemployment still gives cause for concern. Few Member States report on progress in providing the long-term unemployed with active support.

Little improvement has been recorded as regards the quality of work. Youth employment rose in 2005, but other elements of the quality of work showed little progress. The report showed few tangible gains in terms of either the transition from insecure to secure jobs or adult participation in lifelong learning.

To be competitive and ensure sustainable growth, productivity must increase. However, labour productivity growth has been falling in the EU as a whole over the last twenty years, from around 2% a year in the 1980s to 1% in the 1996-2001 period and to below 1% between 2001 and 2003. The situation improved in 2004 (1.9%) but fell back again to 0.9% in 2005.

The Lisbon strategy calls for economic and labour market reforms and for social policies to support economic and employment growth. The report adds that social protection reforms should, where required, improve the sustainability of public finances, particularly by modernising pension systems. The report emphasises that the challenge is to ensure that growth and job creation translate into greater social cohesion.

The report also focuses on territorial cohesion, explaining that regional disparities remain widespread, with very high rates of unemployment in many regions.

A call for delivery

The report stresses that the better functioning of labour markets and quality at work calls for comprehensive measures, which can:

  • encourage the inactive to enter the labour market;
  • reward work within the framework of modern social security systems;
  • facilitate restructuring;
  • improve workers’ adaptability and skills development.

10. The report points out that “flexicurity” should ease the transitions between different stages of working life. “Flexicurity” can be defined, more precisely, as a policy strategy to simultaneously enhance the flexibility of labour markets, work organisations and labour relations on the one hand, and employment and income security on the other. In June 2007, the Commission will present a communication along with extensive consultation in order to set out a range of options to help Member States find the right policy mix for their labour markets.

A reinforced lifecycle-based approach to work should improve access to the labour market, extend working life and promote professional mobility over the life cycle. This measure should in particular lead to an urgent improvement in the situation of young people on the labour market.

The report indicates that due attention should be given to people at the margins of the labour market. Financial incentives which are more attractive than social benefits would create opportunities for the low-skilled. A balanced approach could consist of individually-tailored measures, appropriate minimum wages, targeted payroll tax cuts and the creation of the right environment for the provision of good quality jobs, for example through the development of the personal services market.

To achieve these objectives, effective investment in human capital is indispensable and a breakthrough in lifelong learning is required. The Spring 2006 European Council stated that it was also essential to raise education levels to improve employment opportunities.

The report specifies that migration is an emerging labour market issue which may be relevant in alleviating labour shortages. Several Member States are implementing measures targeted at immigrants or ethnic minorities, but the unemployment rate gapbetween EU and non-EU nationals is still huge.

Related Acts

Draft Joint Employment Report 2005/2006

Draft Joint Employment Report 2003/2004 [COM(2004) 24 final – Not published in the Official Journal.]

Draft Joint Employment Report 2002 [COM(2002) 621 final – Not published in the Official Journal.]

Draft Joint Employment Report 2001 [COM(2001) 438 final – Not published in the Official Journal.]

Joint Employment Report 2000 – Part I: The European Union – Part II: Member States [COM(2000) 1688 final – Not published in the Official Journal.]

Draft Joint Employment Report 1999 [SEC(1999) 1386 – Not published in the Official Journal.]

Draft Joint Employment Report 1998 [SEC(1998) 1688 – Not published in the Official Journal.]