Reports

Boosting employment rates – The 1,000 billion euros potential

25 March 2013


Europe must pay closer attention to labour market policy to deal with ageing populations but also to improve public finances, and must address high levels of youth unemployment as a matter of urgency, heard participants in this Dialogue.

The event marked the presentation of the study ‘Boosting employment rates – The 1,000 billion euros potential’, carried out by the European Policy Centre, AK-Europa and ÖGB Europa.

Improving labour market integration across all age groups can boost employment and reduce the need for public finance consolidation, said Josef Wöss, head of the socio-political department of the Chamber of Labour, Vienna.

The higher the employment rate, the lower the economic dependency ratio and therefore the lower the cost of ageing, Wöss explained. But over a third of the EU’s working age population are not actually employed, he said.

Wöss was presenting the key findings of the study ‘Boosting employment rates – The 1,000 billion euros potential’, carried out by the European Policy Centre, AK-Europa and ÖGB Europa.

The study shows that achieving the employment goals of the EU’s ‘Europe 2020’ strategy would have a "staggering" economic impact, dramatically reducing the economic dependency ratio, Wöss said.

This would in turn boost growth, lead to significantly higher public revenue, and reduce social expenditure as a result of having fewer people dependent on benefits. It could also help Europe to save from public budgets the equivalent of 6-7.4% of EU GDP, he argued.