France, Social Portrait2015 Edition
France, Social Portrait is for everyone who would like to learn more about French society. This cross-cutting publication in the “Insee Références” collection gives a broad overview of the social situation in France.
The effects of the economic crisis on European labour markets: variable intensity and duration
Following the economic crisis which began in 2008, the countries of the European Union (EU) virtually all faced a rise in unemployment, more pronounced among young people, and significant job losses, particularly in industry and construction. In response to this situation, numerous countries took measures to encourage job creation. These policies were however drawn up in different demographic contexts and in light of different structural reforms, with the countries of the EU engaged to different extents in reforms to ensure the fluidity of the labour market and increase the activity of older workers. Deterioration of the labour market was particularly acute in Ireland and southern European countries (Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy). In Ireland as in the United Kingdom, the situation has however significantly improved since 2011. Labour markets in northern European countries (Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden), which were in a good position before 2008, have with the exception of Sweden been severely affected by the economic crisis: the unemployment rate in these countries has declined little since or not at all. In France as in Belgium, the labour market has been less affected overall than the average in the European Union of fifteen (UE15). Job creation has only slowly recovered since 2010, although not sufficiently to initiate a decline in unemployment. Finally, the Germanic countries (Germany and Austria) and Luxembourg have been relatively unscathed by the crisis. Germany is the only country in EU15 where the rate of unemployment has fallen since 2008. In 2014, with the moderate recovery of activity, the effects of the crisis on the labour market began to lessen across the entire EU15, including in the southern European countries. For the first time since 2008, the average unemployment rate in the European Union fell, even among young people.