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Skills Forecast

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This website as well as the publications and online tools accessible via this website may contain UK data and analysis based on research conducted before the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union on 31 January 2020. EU averages or other statistical parameters including the UK reflect the situation in the European Union before 31 January 2020 and should not be considered as representative of the situation in the EU thereafter. Any data or information pertaining to the UK will be gradually phased out from Cedefop’s website, publications and online tools, as ongoing research projects with the United Kingdom’s participation are concluded. Data coming from UK were collected, processed and published before its withdrawal from the EU. Therefore, EU averages contain UK related data up to 2017.

​Cedefop skills forecasts offers quantitative projections of the future trends in employment by sector of economic activity and occupational group. Future trends on the level of education of the population and the labour force are also estimated. Cedefop’s forecasts use harmonised international data and a common methodological approach with the aim to offer cross-country comparisons about employment trends in sectors, occupations and qualifications. The forecasts and the methodologies applied are validated by a group of national experts. Nevertheless, it is not their purpose to substitute national forecasts, which often utilise more detailed methodologies and data, while they also incorporate in-depth knowledge of the labour market of the country.

The latest round of the forecast covers the period up to 2030. The forecast takes account of global economic developments up to May 2019. The European economy continued to expand for the seventh year in a row in 2019, with real GDP growing in all EU Member States. As global uncertainties continue to weigh, domestic dynamics are set to support the European economy. The key assumptions of the baseline scenario incorporate the Eurostat population forecast available in May 2019 (Europop 2015) and the short-term macroeconomic forecast produced by DG ECFIN in May 2019.

The Cedefop Skills forecast was developed before the global Covid-19 pandemic had begun. The short-term economic impacts of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns in many countries are very uncertain, and therefore the current short-term forecast is likely to be over-optimistic. However, the key long-term factors (such as the ageing population, increasing use of automation/artificial intelligence, globalisation, resource scarcity and moves towards a carbon neutral economy) will still hold as the EU Member States put plans in place to deal with the virus and their economies move forwards. The trends in the longer-term forecast are therefore still likely to hold.

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Labour force

This section presents estimates of future labour force growth by country. These are presented in terms of both percentage growth and change in absolute numbers. It is possible to filter by gender or age but not both simultaneously. Different start and end year points are offered as options in order to view both the short and the medium term. Additional graphs show the future EU trends by gender and age.

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Employment

This section presents estimates of future employment growth by country. These are presented in terms of both percentage growth and change in absolute numbers.  It is possible to filter by sector of economic activity or occupation but not both simultaneously. Different start and end year points are offered as options in order to view both the short and the medium term. The purpose of the graphs below is provide a comparative view of future trends of employment in sectors and occupations across countries.

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Job openings

This section presents estimates of future total job openings by country and occupation. These include job openings to occur in the future due to both expansion of employment and the need to replace existing workforce leaving the occupation for various reasons, with retirement being the most common. It is possible to filter by occupation and/or country. Different start and end year points are offered as options in order to view both the short and the medium term. The purpose of the graphs below is provide a comparative view of job openings across occupations and countries.

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Country

This section presents a country summary of estimates for future employment, future total job openings and future labour force growth. In terms of future employment the top 10 sectors and occupations are presented for both percentage growth and change in absolute numbers. The occupations with the highest replacement demand and total job openings are presented in absolute numbers. Regarding future labour force growth, its percentage growth by age group, gender and qualification is available. It is possible to filter by country. Different start and end year points are offered as options in order to view both the short and the medium term. The purpose of this section is to provide an overall view on each country’s growth in employment, job openings and labour force.

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Occupation

This section presents estimates for future employment, future job openings and replacement needs for a specific occupation. The future employment estimates are presented in both percentage growth and change in absolute numbers. Additional graphs present the top 10 sectors of employment and the employment by qualification in absolute numbers for the selected occupation. Regarding future job openings and replacement needs, their change in absolute numbers is depicted. It is possible to filter by a single occupation and a single country, and compare its estimates with other countries. Different start and end year points are offered as options in order to view both the short and the medium term. The purpose of the graphs below is to provide a comparative view of future trends of employment in an occupation between countries.

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Sector

This section presents estimates for future employment for a specific sector. These are presented for both percentage growth and change in absolute numbers. Additional graphs present the top 10 occupations of employment and the employment by qualification in absolute numbers for the selected sector. It is possible to filter by a single sector and a single country, and compare its estimates with other countries. Different start and end year points are offered as options in order to view both the short and the medium term. The purpose of the graphs below is to provide a comparative view of future trends of employment in an sector between countries.

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The detailed estimates are subject to possibly large and uncertain margins of error. They should not be taken literally but suggestive of indicative trends and patterns. As a rough rule of thumb, any cell containing fewer than 10,000 people should be regarded with caution.