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Brussels, 30 January 2012

European Vacancy Monitor looks into the developments on the job market

The European vacancy Monitor is an initiative of the European Commission which provides a comprehensive overview of recent developments on the European job market. With data on job vacancies and hiring it aims to help show trends in occupational demand and skills requirements.

The data is drawn from a wide range of sources: public employment services, temporary work agencies, online services, the EU statistics office (Labour Force Survey) job vacancy statistics, national statistical offices and other relevant research).

How has the number of people finding a job evolved?

According to the EU labour Force Survey data, the total number of job-finders in Europe (26 countries) in mid-2011 was 12.2 million, which is about 1.8 million more than in mid-2010. From the end of the second quarter of 2010 until the end of the second quarter of 2011, about 46.7 million people in 26 countries found a job. Employment increased by about 1 million in the same period. This shows how job turnover accounted for a very large share of job-finders in that period. The total growth in job-finders was largely due to strong performance shown by Germany which showed the largest increase in job-finders between the second quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of 2011 (+57%), followed by Lithuania (+42%), Malta (+36%) and Romania (+33%).

What is the impact of budget constraints on the general structure of labour demand?

Spring 2011saw a growth of vacancies in the private sector and a decline in posts the public sector. Growth in job vacancies was strongest in the manufacturing sector (+39%) and the trade and repair sector (+26%). Following a decline in economic performance, growth in the construction sector has disappeared.

With the exception of public administration, austerity measures in the public sector continued to cause difficulties which generally resulted in a decline of job vacancies in education, health and social work sectors. The arts and services sector marked the highest decrease in job vacancies (-32%). This can largely be attributed to Germany and the UK, where labour demand in these sectors was in decline. This was most likely caused by less funding for cultural institutions and art groups due to austerity measures.

What skills are important on the labour market?

High skill levels remain important for employment opportunities. The number of job-finders in the ‘professionals’ group has grown by +34% in the second quarter of 2011 and the number of job seekers who found jobs as ‘legislators, senior officials and managers’ has grown by +25%, underlining the continuing importance of high skill levels in employment opportunities. Lower skilled occupations, however, accounted for the largest share of job-finders in the European labour market in the second quarter of 2011.

What is the share of young among job finders given high youth unemployment?

The unemployment rate for youth (under 25 years old) was at 22.3% in November 2011, while the general unemployment rate is also at a historically high level, but at 9.8% it is less than half the youth unemployment rate. The high and increasing youth unemployment rate reflects deteriorating labour market prospects for young people.

However, job opportunities still arise. In reality, young people are the main drivers of movement on the labour market. Almost half (48%) of all job-finders in 2010 (or around 20 million) were aged between 18 and 29 years old.

What are the areas where most young people found a job?

Although employers are most dependent on young people for higher qualified occupations, most young people work in low-wage jobs with easy entry to, for example, combine work and studies. For that reason, many of the jobs occupied by young people are part-time jobs.

In 2010, in each quarter, on average approximately 4.9 million people aged between 18 and 29 found a job in the EU27. The top four occupations for young people in 2010 were the same as for all age categories. This indicates that these occupations are not just important as providers of jobs in general, but because of their relative ease entry, offer prospects for new entrants (youth) to the labour market. Significantly, 23 of the 25 top jobs for young people were also in the top 25 occupations in terms of job-finders for all age categories.

What are the jobs where employers are dependent on young people?

In general, employers depend on young people for occupations with rapidly changing skills needs, occupations with a historically high share of young people, but also for low-wage jobs. The occupation with the highest share of young job-finders overall was ‘life science technicians and associate professionals’, with approximately 15,000 job-finders, of which 68% were 18 to 29 years old. The second placed occupation was ‘travel attendants and related workers’ with about 12,000 job-finders each quarter, of which 68% were young. The two largest occupations in terms of job-finders of all age categories, ‘shop, stall, market salespersons and demonstrators’ and ‘housekeeping and restaurant services workers’ were also depending heavily on young people (64% and 59% respectively).

Does gender make a difference for young people?

Gender patterns continue to prevail on the job market for young people. The jobs that men between 18 and 29 years old found in 2010 were much more diverse then the jobs for women in the same age category. Reflecting traditional patterns of occupational choice, the top occupations consisted of low-wage jobs which were mostly in construction and transport for men and in shops, domestic/ personal care and housekeeping and restaurant services for women. Job-turnover most likely accounts to a large extent for the high number of male job-finders in construction. Highly-qualified occupations in the top 25 for men are ‘finance and sales professionals’, ‘physical and engineering science technicians’ and ‘computing professionals’.

For women, many occupations at the professional level are in the top 25, such as ‘finance and sales associate professionals’, ‘nursing and midwifery professionals’, ‘primary and secondary education teaching professionals’ and ‘health associate professionals’

See also:

European Vacancy Monitor January 2012:

European Job Mobility Bulletin January 2012:

European Commission Report: Employment and Social Developments in Europe 2011:

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