The department of Employment and Social Affairs of the European Commission published in 1997 a document in which we can find some predictions about the future trends:
· Uneven pace of job creation: the increase of employment level between 1997 and 2005 will depends on the following three factors:
o The initial situation
o The rate of job creation
o the change in population size of the age and gender groups
This last factor is extremely important because of the arrival of the “baby boomers” to the older working ages will increase the volume of this population.
Trends in each age group
Young people (15-29 years): the rate of employment in this age group is likely to see the greatest growth due to the rapid reduction of the population size within this age group. Consequently, the younger part of the labour supply could be scarce in those Member States which currently have the highest participation rates (Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, and to a lesser extent United Kingdom and Luxembourg). The situation in Spain, Italy, Greece, France and Ireland is different: the level of employment of young people is very low and they are faced with high unemployment rates.
Intermediate age group (30-49 years): in this age group the rate of male employment is very high in all the Members state. Nevertheless some significant differences can be found in female employment. The medium-term projection shows a stabilization of male employment rates in 2005 and a slight increase in the female one. Differences among men and women will continue to be important, although the tendency would be towards a slow reduction of the gap.
Older workers (50-64 years): In 2005 the relative situation of the countries should be roughly the same due to job creation being counteracted by the growth in the number of people in this age group (arrival of the “baby boomers”). Therefore, the population over 50 years will continue to be a large reserve of labour supply, especially women, due to their current low participation in the employment market.