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Policies for full employment

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  • Jaap de Koning, Denmark
  • Richard Layard, Denmark
  • Stephen Nickel, Denmark
  • Niels Chr. Westergård-Nielsen, Denmark
  • Department of Economics
European unemployment is too high, and employment is too low. Over 7½ per cent of Europe's workforce is unemployed, and only two thirds of people aged 15-64 are in work. At the Lisbon summit two years ago the heads of government set the target that by 2010 the employment rate should rise from 64 per cent to at least 70 per cent. And for older workers between 55 and 64 the employment rate should rise from 38 per cent to at least one half. These are ambitious targets. They will require two big changes: more people must seek work, and among those seeking work a higher proportion must get a job. So we need higher participation, and (for full employment) we need a much lower unemployment rate. Can it be done? A mere glance at the experience of different European countries shows that it can. As Table 1 shows, four E.U. countries already exceed the overall target for 2010 (Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden). And seven of the 15 countries in the E.U already have lower unemployment than the United States (the previous four plus Austria, Ireland and Luxembourg).
Translated title of the contributionPOLICIES FOR FULL EMPLOYMENT
Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationLondon
PublisherDepartment for Work and Pensions
ISBN (Print)1 84388 257 4
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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