Full Report

Inventory of labour market policy measures in the EU 2008–13: The crisis and beyond

"The “Inventory of labour market policy measures in the EU 2008-13: The crisis and beyond” report studies the way in which the labour market policies of Member States of the European Union evolved after the financial crisis of 2007/08, and the extent to which those policies were successful in mitigating the negative impact the crisis had on their labour markets.

Policy-makers reacted quickly to the crisis, with a balanced approach with respect to the main beneficiaries of those policy efforts. While a significant share of policies enhanced the rights of workers and increased the support offered to jobseekers, there was also significant effort dedicated to policy measures in which firms were the main beneficiary. After peaking in 2009/2010, however, these policy efforts decreased significantly thereafter.

Most of the attention of policy-makers went towards structural labour market reforms, together with interventions changing ALMP or wage rules, including collective bargaining.

The report highlights the need for constant and continuous dedication to the improvement of the resilience of labour market by policy-makers, even if this requires higher levels of public expenditure in the short term. A combination of policy measures which provide employers with enough flexibility to adjust their demand for labour together with interventions that improve working conditions and increase the support given to jobseekers will provide the only path for policy-makers across the EU to enable labour markets to recover from their current sluggish state and resume a pattern of sustainable employment growth and improving working conditions.