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Employment: growing North-South divide in EU labour market

Mar 1, 2014 | News

(24 February 2014) – Vacancy trends in the European labour market indicate a widening gap in job opportunities between Northern and Southern countries.

The latest issue of the European Vacancy Monitor (EVM) reveals a shortage of labour supply in countries such as Austria, Denmark Sweden, Estonia and Latvia, while competition for jobs is increasing in countries such as Greece, Slovakia and Spain.

Decline in hiring for services and professionals in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain has come to a halt, whilst some increases are reported for agricultural, forestry and fishery workers. Employment opportunities in Southern Europe are concentrated in a few fields, such as health care, sales and administration. On the other hand, the construction sector is the occupation most affected by the crisis, and recovery in this area is expected to show slow progress.

Hiring of young people in the four Southern countries is greatly skewed towards lower skilled occupations in the service sector with significant seasonal demand and high turnover. Furthermore, medium-skilled workers are hired increasingly for lower skilled position, underscoring the over-qualification of the labour force.

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