Employment developments at sectoral level in EU


While manufacturing and construction have driven the fall in employment, job creation in services, namely non-market services, mitigated these big drags on employment in a large number of countries. After two years of negative growth, job creation resumed in 2011 in industry and construction in most Member States.

Employment growth in different sectors: 2008-2011 (%)


Source: Commission services.

In some countries, the construction sector has also been a major drag on employment and in fact the sector that recorded the most dramatic consolidation. The number of employed in construction nearly halved in Ireland, Spain and the Baltic countries over the latest number of years, with construction alone amounting to around half of the total job losses in these Member States. Even in other Member States with much milder employment reductions, construction jobs have fallen by large margins. Only in a minority of countries, employment in the sector has actually risen and almost always by small margins.

Declining jobs in industry have contributed the most to rising unemployment. For the EU as whole, the sector accounted for slightly more than half of the net job destruction. In fact, jobs in industry have declined in every single Member State barring Luxembourg (where it has little weight on employment) since the beginning of the crisis; cumulated job falls close to or beyond the double digit mark were recorded in half of the Member States, most severely in Spain, Lithuania and Greece. However, in many industrialised countries employment in manufacturing has been declining since well before the 2008-2009 recession as a consequence of shifts of production toward developing countries.

Market services had a mixed employment performance, with around half of the Member States recording net employment growth (notably, Poland, Malta and Germany) and the other half net employment losses (e.g., Latvia, Ireland and Greece).

Non-market services, notably the public administration, was the only sector where net employment gains were recorded in most countries (major net losses only in Latvia and Bulgaria). Unlike other sectors, employment in non-market services lost momentum in 2011, reflecting public finances consolidation dynamics also over the government wage bill.

/By Andrea Blažević, Antea Božić, Kristina Piene and Agita Sarkane/



http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/european_economy/2012/pdf/ee-2012-5_en.pdf accessed on 28.04.2013


4 thoughts on “Employment developments at sectoral level in EU

  1. There are changes in all levels of employment development. In many developing countries, the expansion of the private sector, micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises is a powerful engine of economic growth and the main source of job creation. One of the main challenges for governments in developing countries is to design institutional, organisational and regulatory frameworks which are conducive to private sector development. I think there are a few changes in all levels; some of it are good and others are bad- but without changes there is no way to do it right, thats why it called development.

  2. We can easily say that unemployment is one of the biggest problems for majority of states in Europe. We cannot rely on non-market services to be at a high level the whole time because it’s only one sector. Furthermore, industry is a factor which should concern us the most, with all the shifts to developing countries and almost every country in decline when it comes to this sector, Spain being the worst. Europe has to reach a higher level in construction sector and implement some new innovative solutions to be able to compete with the likes of Asian countries and USA.

  3. The EU is the only major world region where unemployment is not falling.
    The overall unemployment rate of the EU is currently heading towards nearly
    10.5%, that of the euro area is about 11%, the highest rate since the start of
    EMU. Since the start of the crisis in 2008, the number of jobs lost totaled
    about 5 million in the EU, 3 million in the euro area.

  4. I think every European member state should have a sector council. Sector councils are platforms at sector level where stakeholders seek to increase their insight into the likely developments in employment and skills needs.

    Sector councils for employment and skills exist in around half of the Member States. There are numerous benefits and the positive effects of such councils on sectors, enterprises, employers and employees have been observed.

    Cross country co-operation between sector councils is rare at present but stakeholders in the Member States expect EU level Sector Councils to boost the effectiveness of national councils and to have a positive impact on the responsiveness of education systems to future labour market needs. The viability of creating and effectively operating EU level Sector Councils can be regarded as high, providing the appropriate conditions are respected.


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