Nearly 13 million people in the EU are unemployed for over a year – according to the latest quarterly review of the European Commission on employment. The economic recovery, which began in the spring of 2013, is still quite unstable and the prospects for employment are uncertain. However, in most sectors since mid-2013 employment increased by 0.2% in the first quarter and 0.3% in the second quarter of this year. Especially in the second quarter of this year, employment increased in a significant number of Member States. The increase in employment was recorded in Spain – by 0.7%, Portugal – 0.9%, Estonia – 1.2%, the UK and Poland by – 0.5% and Italy – by 0.2%. In case of France, employment has not changed for the third quarter in a row.
There increased the number of hours worked and for the first time since 2011 there has been a slight increase in the number of full-time employment contracts and an increase in youth employment. However, many new jobs are part-time work or temporary work, and the unemployment rate still slightly deviates from the highest level recorded in the past. In August, the unemployment rate in the EU was 10.2% (nearly 24.6 million people) and in the Euro area countries it was 11.5% (approx. 18.3 million people). Long-term unemployed represents a large and growing group of all the unemployed – nearly 13 million people remain out of work for over a year. In addition, one third of the unemployed are unemployed for over two years.
The situation in the labor market improved for young people because in most Member States the unemployment rate in this group has decreased significantly. In August in the Member Countries there were 21.6% unemployed people aged from 15 to 24, and in the Euro area countries – 23.3%. However, youth unemployment remains at very high levels in countries such as: Greece and Spain. Of those employed, almost half has a contract for a specified period and nearly one quarter works part time.
The European Commission suggests that Member States must take efforts to fill the assumptions of guarantee for young people and to help every young person in search for suitable employment or training opportunities, gaining experience or education dedicated to finding a job in the future.