Employment and labour markets are one of the six main activities in Eurofound’s work programme for the 2021–2024 period. Eurofound will continue to operate as a centre of expertise for monitoring and analysing labour market developments, particularly as European labour markets are faced with major challenges in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its data collection and research will focus on the consequences of the pandemic for work and employment and how to maintain the functioning and inclusiveness of the labour market.
During 2021–2024, Eurofound’s research will provide important insights into the challenges and prospects in the area of employment and labour markets in the EU.
Eurofound has an important role to play in monitoring trends in the labour market, as well as monitoring the impact of these trends for different groups of workers.
There are still six out of ten people who are on open-ended, non-time-limited contracts. Although the figures we have on ‘atypical employment’, i.e. part-time and fixed-term work, haven’t really changed over the last five to ten years, they are hiding a move towards more precarious forms of work and those with precarious contracts don’t have the same access to employment or social protection.
— Tina Weber, Research Manager, Employment Unit
The research will focus overall on the changing structure of the labour market using Eurofound’s well-established monitoring instruments, the European Jobs Monitor (EJM) and the European Restructuring Monitor (ERM), alongside Eurostat data. With high levels of unemployment expected in some countries, regions, sectors and occupations, affecting also the most precarious and vulnerable workers, these instruments will help identify growing and declining sectors, occupations and qualifications. The ERM will also continue to examine large-scale restructuring events, legislative and support instruments, as well as measures developed by social partners and public authorities to assist workers transitioning between jobs or sectors.
Eurofound will also focus on labour shortages and under-utilised human resources and talent in certain sectors and occupations – accentuated during COVID-19 – by exploring policy interventions and company practices. Specific topics will include skills mismatches, working time, geographical or occupational mobility, and the integration of migrants, as well as covering groups underrepresented in the labour market such as young people, women and people with disabilities. Eurofound will also look at sectors traditionally affected by labour shortages, the issue becoming more urgent due to the pandemic. This activity will feed into the preparatory work for the next edition of the European Company Survey (ECS).
Eurofound’s collaboration with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) will also continue in this area. Research on restructuring will contribute to the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) and the European Social Fund+ (ESF+) activities. Links with sister agency Cedefop and the European Labour Authority will be explored as regards skills and labour mobility in the context of employment policies aimed at tackling labour shortages.
This article was originally published in the EUROFOUND
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