Progressive Economy - European JustJobs Index

Jobs have taken center stage since the wake of the financial crisis of 2008. Countries such as Spain and Greece experienced high levels of unemployment and were among the European countries that implemented austerity measures aimed at addressing the economic crisis. As a result, expenditure on social protection has declined in a number of countries across the European Union. The various policy measures applied since the onset of the financial crisis is debated across the political spectrum. At the core, high-quality jobs remain important for a knowledge intensive economy.

Which countries are succeeding in creating good new jobs for their labor markets? Where are job creation policies effectively producing not only employment bur just jobs-- complete with fair remuneration, social protections, labor rights and opportunities for economic mobility? The issue of creating quality jobs is complex and the question of whether conditions for JustJobs are improving or getting worse—both in the long term and in this time of economic crisis—must be addressed urgently. Due to the lack of a comprehensive measure that captures relevant and interrelated concepts around JustJobs, the debate about jobs is often limited to addressing specific issues such as unemployment or an increase in minimum wage.

The JustJobs Index, a new international measure of fair jobs, seeks to answer these pressing questions, broadening the global discourse on employment beyond common metric of unemployment to address job quality. An ongoing flagship research project of the JustJobs Network and Fafo Institute for Applied International Studies, the JustJobs Index is the first international measure of its kind the first version 0.1 was released in 2013. Beyond an international ranking, the index reveals interconnections among the various dimensions of job creating and how working conditions can be improved. This enables policymakers to target resource and design policies more effectively.

Fafo and the JustJobs Network, are commissioned by Progressive Economy to develop a regional JustJobs Index for the European Union with financing from S&D Group in the European Parliament. The European Union JustJobs Index is intended as a starting point to initiate a discussion and attract interest on policy issues related to jobs and creation of quality jobs in a European context. The availability of data in the European Union allows for the inclusion of more relevant indicators than in the global index, and provides an opportunity for exploring rich and valid insights into JustJobs performance using the EU JustJobs Index. By combining the index with specific country knowledge, the index provides an opportunity for European policymakers to better identify appropriate measures of creating JustJobs.

Fafo and the JustJobs Network have now developed the European Union JustJobs Index and this brief presents the index, its major findings, and offers some initial analysis of JustJobs trends as a basis for broader discussion.