Employment and Social Developments in Europe 2023

Employment and Social Developments in Europe 2023

In 2022, the EU economy grew by 3.5% in real terms.

Significant risks remain associated with rapidly rising prices for food, services and energy. Inflation reached 9.2% in 2022 and is projected to fall to 6.7% in 2023 and 3.1% in 2024.

The EU labor market remains strong. The number of employees increased by 2% in 2022 and reached a record 213.7 million people. Youth unemployment decreased from 16.7% in 2021 to 14.5% in 2022, but remains a significant problem. The level of education and training directly affects the quality of life. In 2022, 10.5% of those with a tertiary education were at risk of poverty, compared to 19.8% of those with a secondary level of education and 34.5% of those with a lower level of education.

Labor shortages increased dramatically in 2022 as the economy recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic. In Q1 2023, 28% of employers in manufacturing and 31% in services and construction in the EU cited labor shortages as a factor limiting production, ranging from 10% in Cyprus and Spain to 50% in Poland, Malta and Slovenia. The shortage of labor is especially noticeable in healthcare, STEM * (especially in the field of ICT), construction. The shortage of labor force in some professions may worsen in connection with the transition to a new digital, "green" model of the economy. A sustainable economy is projected to create between 1 and 2.5 million additional jobs by 2030.

To improve the situation on the labor market, the authors recommend giving priority to:

  • Advanced training and retraining of personnel
  • Increased investment in educational retraining programs
  • Increasing financial incentives for labor activity
  • Removal of barriers for people to enter the labor market
  • Improvement of working conditions and wages
  • Improving migration policy to attract workers from abroad to sectors experiencing a shortage of jobs

*STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is a broad term used to group these academic disciplines.

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