Women to save Europe’s own labour resources

László Andor, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, gave a press conference on the EC's proposal to help Member States' Public Employment Services to maximise their effectiveness, (EC Audiovisual Services, 17/06/2013).

László Andor, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, gave a press conference on the EC’s proposal to help Member States’ Public Employment Services to maximise their effectiveness, (EC Audiovisual Services, 17/06/2013).

Labour market participation rates are socially sensitive variables and as such are slightly affected by short-term economic developments and modestly connected to cyclical changes. Because of that any attempt to follow the evolution of labour market participation percentages has to cover long periods incorporating more than one economic cycle. In view of that Eurostat, the EU statistical service, conducted a relevant study covering an entire decade from 2002 to 2012. The findings are very interesting and confirm the allegation that this variable is socially defined, not affected by short-term changes.

                          Inactivity rates (age 15-64) by sex, EU-28, 2002-2012 (%)

Inactivity_rates_15-64_by_sex,_EU28,_2002-2012                             Source: Eurostat

According to this Eurostat work, labour market participation rate in the European Union has noticeably increased during the ten-year period under consideration and this tendency is explained not by economic determinants but rather by the socially defined parameter of women participation in the labour market. Eurostat found that “In 2012, the number of inactive persons as a percentage of the working age population in the EU-28 reached a new low of 28.3 %, continuing the downward trend of the previous years. This positive development is largely due to the increased participation of women in the labour market”.

More women in the labour market

The graph presented here shows clearly that during the financial crisis period, after 2008, the long-term tendency of the number of people staying away from the labour market (the exact opposite of labour market participation rate) was very slightly affected by the recent economic turbulence. Interestingly the largest part of the increase of the labour market participation rate has to be attributed, according to Eurostat, to the long-term tendency of more women joining the labour market. Accordingly the number of women staying out of the labour market as depicted by the relevant line in the graph was not at all affected by the crisis. Actually after 2011 the line’s falling angle becomes steeper.

At this point it has to be noted that Eurostat studied the labour market participation rate by following the exact opposite that is the rate of people staying outside the labour market not being employed nor unemployed. Coming back to the economic crisis and its role in the labour market, the bottom line of the graph representing the number of men staying outside the labour market shows an increasing tendency mirroring the sensitivity of this group of population to labour market problems.

In the same line of thinking it’s not clear to what extend the women labour market participation rate was affected by the economic crisis. The long-term tendency of this part of population to increase its labour market participation may have been so strong that it absorbed the possible inverse effects from the crisis. It is also possible however that the exact opposite happened, meaning that the economic crisis could have accelerated the tendency of women participating at increasing numbers in the labour market. It’s not clear which tendency of the two played a more important role. The observable phenomenon remains that the women labour market participation rate kept increasing all along the crisis years.

Summing up

Eurostat sums up the conclusion of this study like that, “Since 2002 and despite the economic crisis, the share of the inactive population in the total population of working age has fallen from 31.4 % to 28.3 % in the EU-28. This corresponds to a reduction of 7.9 million inactive persons. The decline in inactivity rates is mainly due to the rising participation of women in the labour force”.

What can be said about the overall evolution of the labour market participation percentage is that the women labour market participation rate will continue to grow during the coming years. Eurostat observes that “The share of women outside the labour market fell during that period by 5 percentage points, from 39.6 % to 34.5 %, while the share of men outside the labour force decreased by only 1 percentage point, from 23.2 % in 2002 to 22.1 % in 2012”. Obviously women constitute now the most important labour resource within the European population.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

FROM THE FIELD: Watering the parched farmland of São Tomé and Príncipe

This country is restarting air travel. Here’s how

What’s the difference between carbon negative and carbon neutral?

Trade defence report: restoring the level playing field for European producers

Everyone has ‘a moral imperative’ to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities, says UN chief

EU and China sign landmark agreement protecting European Geographical Indications

Raw materials: Commission launches new online portal to support responsible sourcing in businesses

Mental health in the times of coronavirus

Restore hope that peace will come to the Middle East, UN negotiator urges Security Council

Iraq: Solutions needed ‘urgently’ to quell ongoing violence, break political deadlock

Empathic AI could be the next stage in human evolution – if we get it right

These 5 countries are home to more than half the world’s forests

‘We won’t get to zero cases of Ebola without a big scale-up in funding,’ UN relief chief warns

ECB is about to lend trillions to banks

COVID-19: EU working on all fronts, €232 million for global efforts to tackle outbreak

UN welcomes progress in former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia naming dispute

‘Building back better’ – here’s how we can navigate the risks we face after COVID-19

Traffic congestion cost the US economy nearly $87 billion in 2018

Soil pollution ‘jeopardizing’ life on Earth, UN agency warns on World Day

Property regimes for international couples in Europe: new rules apply in 18 Member States as of today

Mexico needs a new strategy to boost growth, fight poverty and improve well-being for all

Nearly 5 million children in need due to rising violence in central Sahel: UNICEF

Belgium eases lockdown with free train tickets for every citizen

Afghanistan: UN envoy urges further extension of ceasefire with Taliban, as Eid ul-Fitr gets underway

Ahead of street protests, UN rights chief urges Guatemalan Government to respect democratic freedoms

Gender inequality in the medicine field: two commonly issues

Talent is worldwide. Opportunity is not. How can we redistribute it?

The US repelled EU proposals on common rules for banks

Stronger partnerships with post-conflict countries needed to ensure ‘path towards durable peace’: UN chief

IMF to teach Germany a Greek lesson

A Sting Exclusive: the EU referendum is about fighting for an outward-looking Britain

ECB describes in detail how it exploits the poor

Employment MEPs reach consensus with Commission on workers’ health and safety

The EU resumes budget support assistance to the Republic of Moldova

European Parliament backs CO2 emissions cuts for trucks

Sanctions: Commission further expands Guidance on COVID-19-related humanitarian aid in sanctioned environments

MEPs wants to increase research funding to €120 billion in 2021-2027

“Beyond the beach: tackling plastic pollution upstream”, a Sting Exclusive by Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

Gender equality within junior enterprises: the effect of President’s gender

EU prepares a banking union amidst financial ruins

How nudge theory can help empty our plastic-filled ‘drawers of shame’

Finland has giant supermarkets that only stock second-hand goods

Companies ‘failing’ to address offline harm incited by online hate: UN expert

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Pakistan

Alternative proteins will transform food, mitigate climate change and drive profits. Here’s how

Inflation and interest rates indicate urgent need for action

‘All atrocity crimes are preventable’ and can never be justified – UN chief

Why the World Cup is a bit like international trade

4 ways to keep the momentum rolling on mental health

Health Systems and Society: ways to reinforce the human power during the pandemic

What the buoyant US economy means for the rest of the world

What NBC not airing the Golden Globes means for media and diversity

4 ways leaders are driving innovation in the public sector and revolutionising governance

Recovering from COVID-19: these are the risks to anticipate now – before it’s too late

Antitrust: Commission fines Google €4.34 billion for illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices to strengthen dominance of Google’s search engine

Why the internet is yesterday’s news in China’s digital leap forward

These 4 leaders are working to improve integration in Southeast Asia

This 12-year-old built an underwater robot to fight plastic pollution

North Korea missile tests ‘deeply troubling’: senior UN official

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s