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Tackling long-term unemployment in the EU

European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

Written by Verena Kern

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With the onset of the crisis, unemployment rates have increased sharply throughout Europe and the trend seemed set to continue. However in March 2015, the European Commission reported that, for the first time since 2009, the LTU rate fell slightly. Currently, long-term unemployment (LTU) stands at 4,9% for the EU. LTU remains highest in Greece, Spain, Croatia and Slovakia and lowest in Austria, Sweden and Finland.

Anyone who is without a job for more than 12 months is considered to be long-term unemployed. Affected are people in all age groups, but older workers have the most difficulty to return to the labour market. The nature of one’s previous job also seems to impact chances for re-employment. Common obstacles on the employer’s side are high labour costs, rigid employment protection or lack of incentives. For those affected, being away from the labour market…

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