Parliamentary Watch: European Parliament’s reaction on long-term unemployment

The Commission has released in October a proposal aimed to better integrate long-term unemployed into the labour market. According to current statistics, around 5 % of the EU active population is long-term unemployed. The problem is higher for older workers, as long-term unemployed constitute 63% all unemployed between 55 and 65, and many do not figure in the statistics as they do not declare themselves as unemployed.

The European Parliament welcomed the Commission’s proposal to improve services for long-term unemployed, also highlighting some of the shortfalls of the proposal. The Parliament’s concerns are that a more decisive measure would have been preferrable, that individual needs assessments need to be elaborated much earlier than at 18 months of unemployment and that all actors, including NGOs, working with unemployed should work together.

What is there for older persons?

The Parliament recalls that long-term unemployment often have negative long-term consequences for employment prospects, career progress, earnings profiles and pensions.

It also underlined that skills maintenance in the event of job loss, together with education, training and reskilling that anticipate future skills needs, is an important element in avoiding and redressing long-term unemployment.

AGE views

AGE welcomes the proposal from the Commisison, however AGE is concerned that it is not sufficient to make a distinctive difference. Individual assessments should be conducted much before 18 months of unemployment, as the distance from the labour market grows with the time. Also, life-long learning facilities should be provided as well as in-work trainings for workers of all ages – often, these are no longer available for workers from a certain age, due to age discrimination. Long-term unemployment is a waste of skills and experience that could be used to benefit companies, younger workers and society as a whole.

Read the full report here.

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