Job opportunities in Europe have improved, study shows

15th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

The chances of finding a job have improved in Europe over the past 10 years, but contracts tend to be temporary, rather than permanent, according to the results of a new study published on Thursday.

"Job opportunities for the unemployed have improved in many countries in Europe between 1997 and 2008," the IAB Institute for Employment Research found in a new study that looked at the employment opportunities in 10 different European countries.

"In the majority of countries, including Germany, a greater number of unemployed have found work. But in many countries, employees were offered only temporary contracts," the think-tank wrote.

The study examined developments in the labour markets in Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and Hungary.

IAB, which is the research institute for the Federal Employment Agency, found that the overall increase in the numbers of unemployed people finding jobs "has been at the cost of employment quality," with the expansion of temporary or part-time jobs and an expansion of the low-wage labour sector.

Thus, the probability of a jobseeker finding a permanent job has declined by an average 7.7 percent over the 10-year period.

Nevertheless, there were exceptions, notably Denmark and Britain which have more liberal rules for hiring and firing people, the study found.

IAB urged governments to focus more on improving the quality of employment in future rather than on simply reducing the unemployed headcount.

© 2011 AFP

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