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[Excerpt] European labour markets added nearly 30 million new jobs in a golden age of employment creation prior to the onset of the Great Recession in 2008. These labour markets subsequently shed six million jobs, and unemployment peaked at 11% in 2013, its highest rate in well over a decade.

This third annual European Jobs Monitor report looks in detail at recent shifts in employment at Member State and European Union level in the two years from the second quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2013. It applies a jobs-based approach, which ranks jobs according to wage and then groups them into five categories of equal size (quintiles) ranging from lowest-paid to highest-paid. The net employment change between the starting and concluding periods (in terms of people employed) for each quintile in each country is summed to establish whether there has been net gain or loss. This analytic approach enables employment shifts to be described quantitatively (how many jobs were created or destroyed) and qualitatively (what sectors and occupations were most affected).

The report also examines some of the likely drivers of recent shifts in the employment structure: technological advances, as measured by the cognitive and routine task content of jobs; globalisation and trade, measured as the offshorability of tasks or direct international trade; and labour market institutions.


Suggested Citation
Fernández-Macías, E., & Hurley, J. (2014). European jobs monitor 2014: Drivers of recent job polarisation and upgrading in Europe. Dublin: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.