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European Labour Market Barometer 


Press release of the Institute for Employment Research – 03.12.2020

European Labour Market Barometer: Slightly subdued outlook due to second corona wave

In November, the European Labour Market Barometer stands at 98.5 points. The leading indicator published by the European Network of Public Employment Services and the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) thus points to a moderately negative development of the European labour market in the coming months.

"During the spring lockdown, the European labour market was in a state of shock. While the second corona wave is hampering its recovery, another Europe-wide downturn is not expected," explains IAB head of forecast Enzo Weber, who initiated the European Barometer.

The sub-indicator of the European Labour Market Barometer for the development of unemployment reaches 99.1 points in November. Seasonally adjusted unemployment may thus increase slightly. The sub-indicator for employment, standing at 98.0 points, reflects the employment services' moderately pessimistic projections for short-term employment. "With vaccines on the horizon, there is a glimmer of hope. This enthusiasm is offset in the short term by the effect of the lockdowns in European countries", said Weber.

This autumn, the barometer values per country are unusually divergent. This reflects the varying development and extent of the second corona wave and government reactions that are much less uniform compared to the first lockdown in spring.

The European Labour Market Barometer is a monthly leading indicator based on a survey among the local or regional employment agencies in 16 participating public employment services. The survey is carried out jointly by the employment services and the IAB since June 2018. Participating countries include Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium-DG, Belgium-Flanders, Germany, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal and Belgium-Wallonia. While component A of the barometer signals the development of the seasonally adjusted unemployment figures for the next three months, component B forecasts employment trends. The average of the components "unemployment" and "employment" constitutes the total value of the barometer. This indicator thus provides an outlook on the overall development of the labour market. The scale ranges from 90 (very poor development) to 110 (very good development). First, a barometer score for each of the participating employment services is determined. The European barometer is then derived from these national scores in form of a weighted average. In November, Poland participated for the first time and started with a comparatively low barometer score. Without this effect, there would have been no decrease compared to the previous month.

Release Dates

  • 7 January 2021
  • 2 February 2021
  • 4 March 2021
  • 6 April 2021
  • 3 May 2021
  • 4 June 2021