The UNTANGLED Expert Workshop Tensions in Europe’s labour market triggered by globalisation, digitalisation and demographic changes brought together 25 labour economists, policymakers and labour market practitioners.
The event, organised by LISER on 20 October in Luxembourg City, featured presentations by Inès Baer, head of Data, Analytics and Labour Market Studies at the Luxembourg Employment Agency (ADEM); Ludivine Martin, a LISER researcher and member of the UNTANGLED project; and Tania Treibich of the University of Maastricht, a member of PILLARS and GROWINPRO Project.
Inès Baer talked about the challenge ADEM faces, with a comparable number of job vacancies and job seekers at the same time. She also shared her thoughts on the difficulty of obtaining accurate data for both the supply and demand sides of the labour market, as well as from curricula contents at the local and the European level.
Ludivine Martin discussed the labour shortage identified on the German and Luxembourg labour markets. She also presented the risk of automation associated with occupations facing shortages, along with the skills that are currently in demand, and how the picture has evolved in recent years.
Tania Treibich talked about an original measure to capture firms’ investment in robots and automation, observing that investments tend to come in spikes. She also presented the results of research about the impact of such spikes on companies’ employment and on wage inequality.
While discussing the presentations, participants delved into how globalisation, digitalisation and demographic changes are reshaping EU labour markets. They discussed countries’ efforts to improve the quality of labour market data, and highlighted the challenge to getting accurate data at the European level.
Participants also discussed the specific context of the cross-border regions of Luxembourg that have shortages in similar occupations on their labour markets. These trends should result in increased competition between territories to attract talent in the coming years, and drive further efforts to train, reskill and upskill students, workers and job seekers.
Finally, participants shared ideas on existing actions and recommended policies to protect workers from the adverse impacts of the three megatrends.