related issues

Commission report points to increase in poverty


The European Commission's Employment and Social Developments report for 2013 cites an increase in poverty among the working age population

The European Commission has released the Employment and Social Developments in Europe report for 2013. The report is one of the Commission's key outputs as part of its employment and social policy analysis. The report for 2013 points to an increase in poverty among the working age population and warns that a very gradual reduction in unemployment, which is what is currently being projected in Europe, will not be enough to reverse this situation. The report also highlights that the issue of in-work poverty has been exacerbated by rises in underemployment and wage polarisation.

Although getting a job can help get people out of poverty, the review shows that employment only helps to lift people out of poverty in half the cases, with much depending on the type of job found, household composition, and the labour market position of the individual's partner. The report also revealed that, contrary to common perception, people receiving unemployment benefits are more likely to get a job than people not receiving benefits. This revelation is a positive reflection on the labour market activation measures which are part and parcel of unemployment benefits in most member states.

Finally, although the crisis has seen a contraction of some gender gaps historically faced by women, mainly due to the fact that the crisis has disproportionately affected male-dominated sectors such as construction and manufacturing, gender differences still persist in labour market participation, pay and the risk of poverty rate.

The Employment and Social Developments in Europe 2013 report can be downloaded here