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Euro area labour markets and the crisis

Between the start of the economic and financial crisis in 2008, and early 2010, almost four million jobs were lost in the euro area. Employment began to rise again in the first half of 2011, but declined once more at the end of that year and remains at around three million workers below the pre-crisis level. However, in comparison with the severity of the fall in GDP, employment adjustment has been relatively muted at the aggregate euro area level, mostly due to significant labour hoarding in several euro area countries. While the crisis has, so far, had a more limited or shorter-lived impact in some euro area countries, in others dramatic changes in employment and unemployment rates have been observed and, indeed, more recent data tend to show the effects of a reintensification of the crisis. The main objectives of this report are: (a) to understand the notable heterogeneity in the adjustment observed across euro area labour markets, ascertaining the role of the various shocks, labour market institutions and policy responses in shaping countries’ labour market reactions; and (b) to analyse the medium-term consequences of these labour market developments. With these objectives in mind, the SIR Task Force has carried out several specific exercises (e.g. it has conducted a questionnaire among euro area National Central Bank (NCB) experts on main policy measures adopted since the start of the crisis; it has updated a previous Wage Dynamics Network (WDN) questionnaire on wage bargaining institutions in euro area countries; and it has computed worker flows series from Labour Force Survey (LFS) microdata available at most euro area NCBs). JEL Classification: E42, F15, F33, F41

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Occasional Paper Series with number 138.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:20120138
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  1. Christian Gianella & Isabell Koske & Elena Rusticelli & Olivier Chatal, 2008. "What Drives the NAIRU? Evidence from a Panel of OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 649, OECD Publishing.
  2. Philip Ducaju & Erwan Gautier & Daphné Momferatou & Mélanie Ward-Warmedinge, 2008. "Institutional features of wage bargaining in 23 European countries, the US and Japan," Working Paper Research 154, National Bank of Belgium.
  3. Samuel Bentolila & Pierre Cahuc & Juan J. Dolado & Thomas Le Barbanchon, 2010. "Two-Tier Labor Markets In The Great Recession: France Vs. Spain," Working Papers wp2010_1009, CEMFI.
  4. Robert G. Valletta, 2005. "Why has the U.S. Beveridge curve shifted back? new evidence using regional data," Working Paper Series 2005-25, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. Francesca D'Auria & Cécile Denis & Karel Havik & Kieran Mc Morrow & Christophe Planas & Rafal Raciborski & Werner Roger & Alessandro Rossi, 2010. "The production function methodology for calculating potential growth rates and output gaps," European Economy - Economic Papers 420, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  6. P. McAdam & K. Mc Morrow, 1999. "The NAIRU Concept - Measurement uncertainties, hysteresis and economic policy role," European Economy - Economic Papers 136, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  7. Carlos Bowles & Roberta Friz & Veronique Genre & Geoff Kenny & Aidan Meyler & Tuomas Rautanen, 2007. "The ECB survey of professional forecasters (SPF) – A review after eight years’ experience," Occasional Paper Series 59, European Central Bank.
  8. Andrea Brandolini & Piero Cipollone & Eliana Viviano, 2006. "Does The Ilo Definition Capture All Unemployment?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 153-179, 03.
  9. Mário Centeno & Álvaro A. Novo & José R. Maria, 2010. "How to Measure Unemployment? Implications for the NAIRU," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  10. Laurence Boone & Claude Giorno & Mara Meacci & Dave Rae & Pete Richardson & Dave Turner, 2001. "Estimating the structural rate of unemployment for the OECD countries," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2001(2), pages 171-216.
  11. Romain Duval & Mehmet Eris & Davide Furceri, 2011. "The Effects of Downturns on Labour Force Participation: Evidence and Causes," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 875, OECD Publishing.
  12. International Monetary Fund, 2010. "Estimating Potential Output with a Multivariate Filter," IMF Working Papers 10/285, International Monetary Fund.
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