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Seasonal Unemployment: Detailed Overview & Europe Practices

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Seasonal unemployment in Europe: an opportunity for greater collaboration between European public employment services?

Over the last five years, average unemployment in the first quarter of the EU 28 was 1% higher than in the third quarter according to statistics from Eurostat.

Fig. 1: Evolution of unemployed people from the first quarter of 1 to the second quarter of 2014 – Source: Database – Eurostat lfsq_unemp

Seasonal fluctuations in the labor market, particularly in the construction and tourism sectors, are common in many European countries. The degree of such in each individual member state not only depends on seasonal climatic conditions, but is also interrelated with other general conditions, such as statutory regulations and regulations of collective agreements, business practice and also mobility and proportion of the foreign labor force in a particular member state The availability of a sufficient number of labor, mainly during seasonal peaks, not only represents specific challenges for many employers, but also for members of the Public Employment Services network.

Increased labor force mobility

Increased labor force mobility, enhanced by reinforcing collaboration between PES network member states in intra-European skilled labor referral, could represent an opportunity to better address seasonal peaks in winter tourism and tourism. summer, as well as the demand for skilled labor in the construction sector. Individual PSA organizations have already started to step up their collaborative efforts and with over 14,000 employers now using our EURES Job Mobility Portal AND over 3.3 million job openings advertised, EURES is also helping to bridge the gap in the labor market in Europe.

In the European Union, the unemployment levels determined annually in the first and third quarters differed on average by around 1% in the last five years, accompanied by a simultaneous decrease in unemployment figures. (Unemployment in the first quarter of 3 compared to the first quarter of 12 was reduced by 1% and by 2018% when comparing the figures for the two-third quarters.) We decided not to include a representation of seasonal effects at the individual country level as individual results could hardly be interpreted reasonably and sensibly. A major cause of partially huge differences can result from varying boundary conditions.

In some countries, confirmation of seasonal placement (within three months) is a common practice, so these people are counted as unemployed and therefore the number of unemployed is higher than in those countries where people They have a confirmation of rehiring, but the beginning of such employment is, however, more than three months in the future (for example, for the next summer season). In this context, many of those who are currently not employed are considered, according to Eurostat statistics, to be inactive. Furthermore, data collection at the place of residence skews the results across countries, in particular, due to the unemployment of seasonal mobile workers in the European Union.

A look at the employment statistics

A look at employment development in the 28 EU member states currently also shows clear declines in the first quarter and peaks in the third quarter of each year, driven by the seasonal construction and tourism sectors.

Fig. 2: Evolution of employed persons from the first quarter of 1 to the second quarter of 2014, all sectors – Source: Database – Eurostat lfsq_emppaid

Fig. 3: Evolution of people employed in the construction sector from the first quarter of 1 to the second quarter of 2014 – Source: Database – Eurostat lfsq_emppaid

Fig. 4: Evolution of people employed in the tourism sector from the first quarter of 1 to the second quarter of 2014 – Source: Database – Eurostat lfsq_emppaid

In all other economic sectors, these seasonal effects are not noticeable at all, respectively, to such an extent.

Fig. 5: Evolution of people employed in non-seasonal sectors from the first quarter of 1 to the second quarter of 2014 – Source: Database – Eurostat lfsq_emppaid

The strong and growing importance of the construction and tourism sectors.
In the 2018 annual average, 11% of the people employed in the European Union were working in the construction and tourism sectors. The tourism sector, with more than 15% of people employed (between 15 and 64 years old), was seen as the sector with a relatively stronger growth since 2014, while in comparison, the number of people employed in construction increased by 6%. These two seasonal sectors accounted for a total of 16% of the increase in total employment in the EU.

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