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19/6/2021  
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EMPLOYMENT
Long-term unemployment

Europe takes action to help 12 million long-term unemployed get back to work

Eurostat

The European Commission has proposed guidance to Member States to better help long-term unemployed return to work. Following the relaunch of the Youth Employment Initiative in May, this is another concrete initiative in the context of the broader economic and social agenda of the Juncker Commission, which seeks to strengthen job creation, economic recovery and social fairness in Europe.
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In Europe there are more than 12 million people who have been unemployed for over a year. Despite the economic recovery and signs of improvements in the EU labour market, their number doubled between 2007 and 2014, accounting for about half of the total number of unemployed. The Investment Plan for Europe has the potential to create millions of new jobs. But even when new jobs are created it is often very difficult for long-term unemployed to successfully re-enter the job market.

Therefore the proposal for a Council recommendation presented today foresees that all jobseekers who have been jobless for more than 12 months receive an individual assessment and that they receive a job integration agreement, offering them a concrete and personalised plan back to work before reaching 18 months of unemployment.
Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, commented: "Long-term unemployment is one of the most difficult and acute challenges caused by the economic crisis, affecting more than 12 million people in Europe. It exposes an increasing part of our population to the risk of poverty and social exclusion. We must act to bring them back to work. We cannot settle for an economic recovery that leaves so many Europeans behind. I am confident that today´s proposal will make a difference for them with the full support of Member States, social partners and employers."
The proposal looks into the services that are offered to long-term unemployed to help them to re-enter the labour market and proposes specific actions to strengthen them. It draws on best practices gathered by Member States.
It puts forward three key steps:
  • Encourage the registration of long-term unemployed with an employment service;
  • Provide each registered long-term unemployed with an individual in-depth assessment to identify their needs and potential at the latest at 18 months of unemployment;
  • Offer a job integration agreement to all registered long-term unemployed at the latest at 18 months.
The job integration agreement should consist of a tailor-made plan to bring the  long-term unemployed back to work. Depending on the existing services in each Member State it can include: mentoring, help with the job search, further education and training as well as support for housing, transport, child and health care services or rehabilitation. It should be delivered through a single point of contact to ensure the continuity and consistency of the support. It should also clearly outline the rights and responsibilities both of the unemployed and of the organisations providing support.

The proposal also calls for the active involvement of employers through partnerships with the public authorities, enhancing the range of services they can receive, as well as offering them targeted financial incentives.
Member States can implement these recommendations with the support of the European Social Fund.

The Commission´s proposal will now be submitted to the Council for discussion and adoption. The implementation of the measures outlined in the Recommendation will start as soon as Member States reach an agreement.

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More than 1 in 5 self-employed in the EU had seized a suitable opportunity to run their own business
Euro area job vacancy rate at 2.1%
Annual growth in labour costs at 2.2% in euro area
Employment up by 0.4% in both the euro area and the EU28
European Parliament vote in favour the legal framework for the European Solidarity Corp
Employment Social review confirms positive trends but highlights needs for skills and and inclusion
New EU rules ensure better protection for 120 million holidaymakers this summer

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