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Will coronavirus have lasting labour market effects? Cedefop seeks answers

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Cedefop is designing the second wave of its European skills and jobs survey (ESJS) to include questions aimed at discovering whether the coronavirus effects on the EU labour market will be permanent.


The coronavirus pandemic has had an unequal impact on economic sectors and jobs in Europe, much of this related to the different degree to which they were exposed to digital technologies in previous years. Cedefop’s first European skills and jobs survey, a state-of-the-art survey of EU adult workers, revealed a marked variation in technological and digital exposure among EU jobs.


Five years on, given the pre-existing digital divide, the ability of those digital laggards to sustain continued operation via remote meetings, ICT-based work and online customer interaction (e.g. e-commerce) is likely to have been constrained, further accentuating the negative impact of the pandemic on their work and incomes.


The ESJS is carried out in all EU Member States to obtain timely information on the skill requirements of jobs and the skill mismatch of the EU adult workforce. A first wave, carried out in 2014, collected information from about 49 000 EU adult workers and enabled deeper understanding of the complexities and drivers of qualification and skill mismatch in EU labour markets, and in-depth understanding of how workers’ skills may adapt to changing skill needs over time, informing the development of the European Commission’s New skills agenda for Europe.


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