Tackling unemployment is a major concern in Europe. The European Employment Strategy (EES), initiated in 1997, was created to help European Union countries create more and better jobs. They recently issued a progress report on their effectiveness of the EES in meeting the employment goals for the EU.

According to AGE, The European Older People’s Platform, the EES needs to place more emphasis on helping older workers reconcile professional and private life, enabling them to take time off to care for dependant family members.

Other observations made by AGE include:

  • European labor markets are not sufficiently responsive to the challenges of globalization and ageing
  • Older workers still represent one of the largest untapped target groups for raising employment
  • The lowest participation rates in lifelong learning throughout the EU continue to be those of older workers

As we’ve noted in earlier postings, many countries are looking to have a supply of older workers to help keep the economy going as their population ages and the number of younger workers dwindle. To make this happen governments will need to be more worker friendly and offer incentives to keep folks from retiring. The EES report shows that not to be the case in Europe, yet.