Économie et Statistique n° 410 - 2007 Access to Higher Education in France: Genuine but limited Democratisation - Education and Social Mobility: The Paradox of the 1960s Generation - Employment Quality in Europe: A comparative and dynamic Approach.
Employment Quality in Europe: A comparative and dynamic Approach
Since the Lisbon Strategy was outlined, employment quality has been a European Employment Strategy objective, and Member States therefore adopted a coordinated approach to defining indicators at the 2001 Laeken summit. However, these indicators are rarely used, as much as a result of their intrinsic limitations as of the declining reference made to employment quality in European policies. However, a comparative view of Europe's labour markets from the perspective of employment quality produces valuable results. Using the Laeken indicators, we develop a three-group typology of European countries which distinguishes Nordic countries (including the United Kingdom) from continental countries and southern countries. A closer analysis of the criteria of employment quality, job and income security, training, working conditions, gender and work-life balance, confirms the generally unfavourable position of the southern countries, while also qualifying some good performances. The UK and the northern countries, for instance, are marked by high work intensity, and the high participation of women in the labour market can be correlated with a certain degree of professional segregation. From the perspective of the European Employment Strategy, the introduction of additional indicators, especially of income, training quality and working conditions, leads us to qualify the analysis with reference to the Laeken indicators only. Finally, in the period from 1995 to 2004, the available indicators reveal a trend towards improving employment quality, despite continuing discrepancies between groups of countries.