The analysis in the report relies on the headline indicators of the revised Social Scoreboard that supports the monitoring of the European Pillar of Social Rights.
This contributes to assessing key employment and social challenges in the Member States. The report also integrates the three headline targets on employment, skills and poverty reduction that the EU should achieve by 2030.
- Decisive policy action at Member State and EU level (notably with support from SURE and REACT-EU) cushioned the labour market impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
- The crisis affected in particular the labour market situation of young people, workers in non-standard forms of employment, the self-employed and people born outside the EU.
- Rising labour and skills shortages in some sectors emphasize the key importance of skills and education across the EU. The participation in adult learning remains low in many Member States; this is a cause for concern, given that skills are key to keep pace with the rapidly changing labour markets.
- Labour market participation of women is a long-standing challenge. Women temporarily experienced a steeper fall in working hours, linked to gender differences in sectors and occupations affected by the crisis. They continued taking on the larger share of caring responsibilities, also during the crisis.
- Social protection systems helped weather the COVID-19 crisis by keeping households’ disposable incomes broadly stable. Nonetheless, the risks of poverty or social exclusion remain high for certain population groups, notably families with children, persons with disabilities, people born outside the EU and Roma. For people experiencing poverty, housing and energy costs pose a particular challenge.
- Member States are encouraged to take action to address the identified employment, skills and social policy challenges, making full use of EU funding possibilities. They should in particular support job creation, ease transitions from unemployment into employment and between jobs (including across sectors), strengthen economic and social resilience and ensure that the green and digital transitions are fair.