The destruction of employment during the crisis has been sharpest in mid-paying jobs

Eurofound’s report finds that the destruction of employment during the crisis has been sharpest in mid-paying jobs, while sparing in large part jobs at either end of the wage distribution. Higher paid jobs in service sectors in particular have proved most resilient.

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) published its second annual European Jobs Monitor report entitled ‘Employment polarisation and job quality in the crisis’ which shows that new well-paid employment has come primarily in knowledge-intensive service sectors, such as ICT, business consultancy, health and education, among other conclusions. A study's results made public by Eurofound in October 2012 showed that austerity measures across Europe have a negative impact on the most vulnerable groups in society.

The report also shows that female job losses have been much more modest. According to Eurofound's report, the recession can be seen as accelerating the catch-up process of women in the labour market, both in terms of employment numbers and access to higher layers of the employment structure. Women have increased their employment share, particularly in ‘mid-paid’ and ‘good’ jobs (those in the higher quintiles).

However, the report also shows that labour market entrants is that over the last year more of the net EU growth in well-paid, third-level graduate jobs was accounted for by those in the post-retirement age group (65+) than by workers under 30. Moreover, some low-paid jobs have also increased employment – for example, cleaners and personal care workers in social work and residential care. In general, jobs in the lowest quintile have fared much better than those in the “shrinking middle”.