Employment in the European Union (EU) is forecast to pass its 2008 pre-crisis level in 2020 and, according to Cedefop’s skills supply and demand forecasts, will continue to rise up to 2025. Skills supply and demand over the next decade seem strongly influenced by future economic (GDP) growth rates, effects of the economic crisis that began in 2008 and demographic change. Variations are sometimes considerable between Member States. Unemployment in the EU remains high, compared to years previous to the crisis. But EU averages also mask wide differences across countries. For example, unemployment in Austria and Germany remains relatively low, but is high in Spain and Greece.
By 2025, most job growth in the EU as a whole is expected in business and other services, distribution and transport, and non-marketed (mainly public sector) services. Job losses will continue in the primary sector. Employment in construction, which saw most job losses after the crisis, is forecast to be broadly stable up to 2025. Most future job opportunities in the EU are forecast for professionals (high-level jobs in science, engineering, healthcare, business and education), followed by service and sales workers, technicians and associate professionals (occupations applying concepts, operations and regulations in engineering, healthcare, business and the public sector) and elementary occupations (jobs traditionally requiring low-level or no qualifications).
According to Cedefop’s forecasts, by 2020, in the EU around 46% of 30 to 34 year-olds will have high-level qualifications, exceeding its benchmark of 40% by 2020. All Member States should reach, or be close to this benchmark. In 2013, in the EU 11.9% of young people left the education and training system with low level qualifications, above its benchmark of reducing this to below 10% by 2020. Some 18 Member States have already reached this target.