(15 January 2015) – Countries providing high quality jobs and effective social protection as well as investment in human capital have proved to be more resilient to the economic crisis. This is one of the main findings of the 2014 Employment and Social Developments in Europe Review.
The Review has looked into the lessons learnt from the recession to see that its negative impact on employment and incomes was smaller for countries with more open and less segmented labour markets, and stronger investment in lifelong learning. In these countries, unemployment benefits tend to cover many of the unemployed, are linked to activation, and responsive to the economic cycle.
The Review notes that a number of Member States are progressively moving towards a social investment model that promotes people’s potential throughout their lives and supports wider labour market participation.
Finally, the Review also underlines that restoring socio-economic convergence is another important task following the crisis years, particularly concerning Southern and peripheral EU 15 Member States. Behind crisis induced divergence lay not only the size of the economic shock but also structural imbalances which were already present before the crisis in the most affected countries, such as weak productivity, lack of investment in human capital, weaknesses in their banking sector and property bubbles, and in their welfare systems.