This year’s edition confirms the ongoing positive labour market trends as well as an improving social situation. The numbers of people in employment reached new record levels. With almost 238 million people having a job, employment has never been higher in the EU. In 2017 over three and a half million more people were in employment, compared with 2016.
However, while the number of hours worked per person employed has grown in recent years, they are still below the 2008 levels. At the same time we witness rising disposable incomes and lower levels of poverty. Severe material deprivation has receded to an all-time low, with 16.1 million fewer people affected, compared with 2012.
But looking at the impact of technological developments, there are uncertainties about the future effects of automation and digitalisation. This is why the 2018 ESDE review is dedicated to the changing world of work.
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: “The European economy is growing faster and more evenly than before. This favours employment, props up household incomes, and improves social conditions. Technological change has a high potential to boost growth and jobs, but only if we shape this change. The European Pillar of Social Rights provides a compass for getting everyone ready for this transformation. Our proposals turn the Pillar into practice, by equipping people in Europe with better education and skills throughout their life and by ensuring that all workers are covered by basic rights in this fast changing world of work, with our proposals on transparent and predictable working conditions and access to social protection."
This year's edition of the report aims to analyse opportunities and risks linked to technological innovation, demographic change, and globalisation. The review shows what needs to happen so that everybody can benefit from these developments.