The 2008 financial crisis and the persistent economic downturn that has followed have had a major impact on the European labour market. Taking their effects into account, Cedefop has produced its latest forecast for skill labour supply and demand up to 2020.
Cedefop’s forecasts are unique in making a comparative analysis of the major trends in employment growth and decline for sectors, occupations and qualifications both across the European labour market as a whole and for individual European Union Member States.
According to the forecasts, assuming a slow but steady recovery, up to 2020, the European economy will create some eight million new jobs. However, nearly 10 times as many jobs, around 75 million, will need to be filled as people retire or leave the workforce. Although there will be job openings for all types of occupations, most new jobs will be at the higher and lower end of the skill spectrum bringing a risk of job polarisation. Weak employment growth indicates that there may be an oversupply of people with high-level qualifications in the short term, but by 2020, Europe will have the most highly-qualified workforce in its history. This publication provides the data behind these trends and discusses the challenges they pose for policy-makers.