unemployment

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    Industrial robots have boosted productivity and growth, but their effect on jobs remains an open question

Industrial robots have boosted productivity and growth, but their effect on jobs remains an open question

Robots and automated processes have become a feature of many modern workplaces, but what impact do such innovations have on productivity and jobs? Using a new dataset, Georg Graetz and Guy Michaels present an analysis of the economic effects of robots since the early 1990s, noting that they have made a substantial contribution to productivity and aggregate growth. They […]

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    Spain has reason to be concerned at its latest unemployment figures

Spain has reason to be concerned at its latest unemployment figures

Spain has suffered from a persistent unemployment problem since the financial crisis, with the unemployment rate remaining stubbornly above 20 per cent. Jose G. Montalvo writes on the release of the latest Spanish unemployment figures, which saw the unemployment rate increase in the first quarter of 2015. He notes that while the latest figures have to be put against […]

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    Brussels round up: EU unemployment figures, crisis in Iraq, and who should be the next President of the European Council?

Brussels round up: EU unemployment figures, crisis in Iraq, and who should be the next President of the European Council?

The EUROPP team take a look at some of the latest developments in Brussels and across Europe

EU unemployment figures for May

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, published EU unemployment figures this week. The figures, which indicate the level of unemployment in each EU state in May, show that unemployment across the whole of the EU now stands […]

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    Spain’s labour market and social reforms have exacerbated the country’s unemployment problem

Spain’s labour market and social reforms have exacerbated the country’s unemployment problem

Spain was one of the countries hardest hit by the Eurozone crisis. Vincent Navarro writes on labour market and social reforms which have taken place within the country as part of the response to the crisis. He argues that policies aimed at deregulating the labour market have done little to solve Spain’s unemployment problem and have been more geared […]

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    Persistent unemployment poses a substantive threat to democracy in Southern European countries

Persistent unemployment poses a substantive threat to democracy in Southern European countries

The purpose of competitive elections is to reward good politicians and punish bad ones, but what happens if elections can no longer fulfil this role? Diego Muro and Guillem Vidal write that developments in Southern European countries since the start of the financial crisis have undermined the legitimising role of elections. Suffering from persistent unemployment rates, citizens’ frustration has […]

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Despite high employment rates, Germany is also experiencing increasing poverty among its citizens

While Southern European states have experienced intense economic problems since the start of the financial crisis, the German economy has generally been viewed as comparatively healthy. Mark Esposito argues that beyond positive figures such as the high rate of employment within the country, Germany is not the robust model of economic health which it has been portrayed as. He notes […]

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The state of the UK economy: Diagnosis, prognosis and recommended treatment

The UK economy has experienced a prolonged period of weakness over the last five years. John Van Reenen writes that the real problems for the UK are inadequate long-run investment in infrastructure, innovation and human capital. He argues that what Britain needs is an independent infrastructure body to recommend and deliver national infrastructure projects. Unfortunately, short-term expediency has once again […]

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Southern Europe should consider an economic ‘third way’ to tackle unemployment and inequality

Several countries across Europe have experienced persistent problems with unemployment since the start of the financial crisis. Alexandre Afonso writes that southern European countries are faced with a choice between adopting either Anglo-Saxon style market liberalisation or Nordic style welfare spending as part of their response to the problem. Seeing neither as a feasible option, he proposes an alternative strategy […]

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Left-wing parties in Western Europe gain votes when unemployment rises, but only when they are in opposition.

How does a rise in unemployment affect support for left-wing parties? As Ruth Dassonneville and Michael S. Lewis-Beck write, left-wing parties might be expected to gain support during periods of rising unemployment as they effectively ‘own’ the issue in the eyes of the electorate. However, this effect may be complicated when left-wing parties are in government, as incumbent parties tend […]

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The US may show the EU the way forward on fiscal integration

The financial crisis has not affected all of the countries of the EU in the same way. Member states in the EU’s periphery are struggling with unemployment rates of over 25 per cent, while the core nations, such as Germany, have rates around 5 or 6 per cent. Using another currency union, the US, as a comparison, James Feyrer and […]

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Europe’s austerity policies may have created less unemployment in countries with liberalised labour markets.

Austerity policies have been linked to rising unemployment in European countries, but what effect have policies aimed at liberalising labour markets had during the crisis? Alessandro Turrini finds that contrary to expectations, austerity policies may have been responsible for creating more unemployment in countries with stronger employment protection legislation. One potential reason for this is that while countries with more […]

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The Eurozone may have exited recession, but the crisis is far from over.

Recent figures from Eurostat show that the Eurozone emerged from its recession in the second quarter of 2013. Harald Sander argues that while there are some ‘green shoots’ of recovery, the Eurozone crisis is far from over. He notes that there are still a number of key challenges to be overcome, with Eurozone unemployment levels and debt to GDP ratios […]

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Setting time limits on unemployment benefits make the long-term unemployed five times more likely to find jobs

Rising unemployment and long-term unemployment have become increasing concerns for Europe’s policymakers since the onset of the financial crisis five years ago. One option for governments is to shorten the duration of unemployment benefits. Using evidence from Denmark, Stéphanie Vincent Lyk-Jensen and Cecilie Dohlmann Weatherall find that if benefits for the long-term unemployed are limited to four years instead of […]

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The most vulnerable ‘NEETs’ in Spain tend to come from families with the lowest levels of education.

A number of policies aimed at tackling the problem of ‘NEETs’ (young people who are not in education, employment, or training) have been implemented throughout Europe. Miquel Àngel Alegre and Federico Todeschini assess the extent of the problem in Spain. They argue that as NEETs are a highly diverse group, it is useful to make a distinction between ‘vulnerable’ and […]

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The European Council’s latest agreement to tackle youth unemployment is unlikely to have any immediate impact.

Last week the European Council held a summit largely devoted to the issue of youth unemployment. Mikkel Barslund assesses the outcome of the summit, which saw extra funding committed to tackling the problem. He argues that while the measures agreed are a step in the right direction, they are unlikely to have any immediate impact on youth unemployment levels. The […]

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Brussels blog round-up for 22 – 28 June: MEPs in the limelight, France vs. the European Commission, and the EU’s new budget deal.

Chris Gilson takes a look at the week in Brussels blogging. The EU centre and the crisis  Friday sees a meeting of the European Council in Brussels. Ahead of the summit, the European Council on Foreign Relations presents the view from seven of the EU’s capitals. The European Commission released its draft budget for 2014-2020 on Wednesday. Open Europe looks at […]

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Since the beginning of the economic crisis voters have punished incumbent governments for rising unemployment, but not for rising income inequality.

Rising income inequality has been a key criticism during protests such as the ‘Occupy’ movement, but it is unclear how such criticisms affect voting behaviour. Florence Bouvet and Sharmila King test the extent to which voters have penalised incumbent governments for increases in income inequality and unemployment, both before and after the start of the economic crisis. They find that […]

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Training the unemployed: Much ado about nothing?

A number of ideas have been put forward to help tackle youth unemployment in Europe. Bob Hancké takes a closer look at the issue, arguing that while training is never a bad thing, bringing unemployment down is not a substitute for growth. Only in Spain, perhaps, where an entire generation has succumbed to the temptation of higher wages in unskilled […]

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The people of Southern Italy are once again feeling dominated by the Italian, European, and Global North.

Italy’s recent elections have refocused attention on the county’s economy and widespread dissatisfaction with austerity policies. From her research on the Italian region of Calabria, Stavroula Pipyrou writes that the economic crisis has been especially harsh on Southern Italy. Those in the country’s south increasingly feel that they live in the shadow of Northern Italy. They also see little chance […]

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Spain’s labour market reforms are unlikely to lead to economic growth or a drop in unemployment

In early 2012, Spain introduced labour market reforms aimed at boosting competitiveness and economic performance. Bob Hancké looks at recent claims that these reforms have started to boost the Spanish economy, finding that they may have boosted productivity at the expense of weaker companies that have been affected by the crisis. He writes that as long as productivity growth outstrips […]

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