In the view of sustainable economic growth, increasing globalization, shorter times of innovation and technology progress the European labour market has to face a lot of challenges in the following years. One of these upcoming challenges is the demographic change. Current trends of increasing life expectancy and declining birth rates in the European Union are going to result in an ageing population and in a declining workforce. Latest demographic projections show that the working age population, people between ages of 15-64 will decrease by around 15% in the European Union in the next 50 years. As a result, Europe is expected to change from a society with four working-age people for each person over 65 towards a ratio of 2 to 1 in 2050. The demographic change is influenced by a number of different factors like for instance gender equality, work-life balance and also by labour market conditions of the country. This turning of more and more older people getting retired and fewer workforces is going to bring up problems in financial sustainability of pensions and also can impact the health care systems.

Furthermore there could come up a lack of educated workers for certain jobs if the old experienced employees retire and there are not enough adequate recruiters for these positions. This demographic change is a long-term effect of Europe’s society and the EU and also companies in the European labour markets must introduce strategies for dealing with that challenge in the future, because the effects of it will only be seen afterwards, and then it is even harder to react.



  1. I agree that this will be an increasingly prominent problem for European countries, the figures given are more dramatic than I would have thought so action needs to be taken by governments immediately. I think the most important issue to address in order to account for Europe’s future labour market shortage will be that of immigration. Using migrant workers to balance the demographics within Europe will be essential in the future and governments need to develop and implement a strategy which will regulate migration to the benefit of both Europe and the originating countries in order to combat the European future labour deficits.

  2. From my point of view we are confronted with this topic since years, because the debate about the demographic ton instead of the pyramid we are on target is not really new. But till now the governments did not react in an essential way.
    As it was mentioned in the comment above one point to work on could be the right immigration policy but another point would also be to increase the birth rate. We are living in a time where women also want to make their career and for the most women it is not imaginable to handle full-time job and kids in an acceptable way. At this point the governments need to come in, because when they want to increase the birth rate they need to provide solutions. The problems are not only the missing offers of child care institutions but also the working conditions.
    As it was said in your article we are also facing with the problems of our retirement plan and the health care systems, because those are constructed for a demographic pyramid and not a ton. To my mind there would be a huge amount of things we could change in especially the health care system of Austria because the biggest costs come from the elder people. So we need a system to deal with this, an intelligent system that pays for these cases where it is necessary and expedient and which stops the system we have now where the most things are just done because the insurance pays for it.


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