EU employment has surpassed pre-crisis levels with more than 235 million people at work. Unemployment which now stands at 7.6% is also approaching levels prior to the recession. In addition, the report shows that it has become easier for unemployed people to find a job.
On the other hand, more flexible working arrangements have brought advantages to both firms and individuals, but have led in some cases to a divide between workers holding different types of contracts, with people in temporary employment and self-employment being less well protected.
The 2017 Labour Market and Wage Development Report also shows that in 2016, wages in the euro area rose by 1.2% and they increased in almost all Member States. Member States with comparatively low wage levels (such as the Baltics, Hungary and Romania) recorded the highest increases. This means wages are converging across Europe. However, in many countries, the growth rate of wages is still lower than expected based on the recent falls in unemployment.
In addition, in almost all Member States, wages of temporary workers are lower than those of permanent workers, especially in Member States where the share of temporary employment is higher.