Like the United States, where job creation in April was much lower than expected, it would be difficult for Europe to fill vacancies. This is despite the fact that the unemployment rate in the European Union is above 7% – and more than double that in Greece and Spain – and which, according to forecasts, should not return to pre-crisis levels before 2023.
In the short term, with travel restrictions associated with coronaviruses, activists will not be able to cross borders with ease of customs duties for the 27-country block. This is a problem, as the European Union is about to begin the disbursement of € 800 billion recovery fund, which focuses on the environmental and digital sectors, which will require specialized professionals.
But networks and pipelines supplying new employees have also been affected, which will have a lasting impact. Employment fairs were canceled and vocational training programs were postponed. Universities are experiencing a decline in the number of foreign students. All this should exacerbate the current challenge of adverse demographic data in the region. Brexit imposed an additional barrier to labor mobility, as the trade pact between the UK and the EU this year includes restrictions on movements with limited mutual recognition of certain qualifications.
“In Europe, the problems are more structural,” said Axel Pluenneke, an economist at the German Economic Institute in Cologne. “There will be a lot of demand for qualified labor in areas such as digitization, decarbonization, especially in tech businesses. The question really is whether this demand will be answered.”
The region already feels part of the impact of border closures imposed during the epidemic. Net migration to Germany, Europe’s largest economy, fell by about 30% in 2020. Norway faces a shortage of hospitality professionals such as foreign rafting guides, and last month relaxed entry restrictions to include workers, which is strictly required to avoid downtime of the project or business over the next four months. . ”