Country labor markets
Articles in this subject area summarize the current state of specific labor markets. They cover the labor market issues common to all countries but also highlight important developments specific to each country context.
Italy has seen moderate recovery since the double-dip recession, but problems persist among the youth and in southern regionsThe Italian labor market suffered a sizable negative shock from the double-dip recession and has since experienced a moderate recovery beginning in 2014. Despite some improvement, unemployment remains higher than pre-crisis levels, especially for young workers. Female participation has been slowly increasing. Regional heterogeneity is still high, with the stagnating south unable to catch up with the north. Real earnings have been increasing, but productivity is stable at relatively low levels compared to other European countries. Finally, undeclared employment is high, especially in the south.MoreLess
Fifteen years ago Austria was the “better Germany,” but it has failed to keep up over timeRené Böheim, December 2017Austria is an interesting economy due to its strong industrial relations with institutionalized collective bargaining over wage negotiations and working conditions. Currently, Austria’s GDP per capita is high, but unemployment, although comparably low on an international scale, is not declining in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The labor market is also characterized by an increasing share of mostly low-skilled foreign workers. High marginal labor taxes discourage low-skilled workers from leaving social assistance.MoreLess
The French workforce is now much better educated, but unemployment, underemployment, and low-income work present challengesPhilippe Askenazy, January 2018France has the second largest population in the EU. Since 2000, the French labor market has undergone substantial changes resulting from striking trends, some of which were catalyzed by the Great Recession. The most interesting of these have been the massive improvement in the education of the labor force (especially of women), the resilience of employment during the Great Recession (albeit with a very late recovery), and the dramatic emergence of very short-term employment contracts and low-income independent contractors, which together fueled earnings inequality.MoreLess