Europe’s Jobs Rebound May Lag Economic Recovery, Study Shows

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Europe’s labor market may recover more slowly from the pandemic than its economy, according to a study by Accenture.

The region lost 3.5 million jobs in 2020 that will take until 2023 to be recreated, the consultancy said, citing a survey of 700 company executives. That’s as much as one year after the last European Union economy will have seen output returning to pre-crisis levels.

Governments are gradually easing coronavirus restrictions as infections fall and vaccinations pick up after a slow start, laying the ground for a robust rebound in the second half of the year. Yet companies might take time to hire workers amid concerns that another flareup in cases could trigger new curbs.

Still, Europe’s labor market is in better shape than during previous economic shocks, thanks in part to generous furlough programs. The fallout of the global financial crisis of 2008 took almost eight years to repair.

Accenture’s report predicts that increased efforts to invest in digitization and sustainability could add as many as 5.7 million jobs across Europe by 2030. In addition, more than three-quarters of companies plan to up- or reskill about a quarter of their workforce in the next three years to meet new demands.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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