New EU report shows active labour policy can increase employment rate despite low growth.
Economic growth on its own does not increase employment. The right mix of employment and active labour market policies is critical to increase employment rates. The Employment in Europe report published today shows that despite low economic growth the EU's employment rate doubled to 0.6% and its unemployment rate stabilised at around 9% in 2004 on the back of key employment reforms introduced under the European Employment Strategy. Active labour policies are about getting people back into the labour force - they include policies such as lifelong learning, investing in skills and training and personal career coaching.

The report indicates that Member States which have invested in active labour policies see shorter periods of unemployment, vacancies filled more rapidly, higher and better targeted expenditure on training, and salaries being more responsive to market conditions. They have also seen an increase in more flexible working arrangements, such as part-time or fixed-term employment.