Vladimir Spidla: No one's 'stealing jobs'. Mobile labour forces benefit everybody

Share
Related Topics

For European workers, 2009 does not look like a good year. Europe's overall unemployment rate is nearly 8.5 per cent at the moment, and much higher in some countries. It looks set to rise over the coming months, youth unemployment especially.

At such times, arguing that job mobility benefits all Europeans might seem strange, but it is not. Free movement of workers is a vital element for greater productivity – a major factor in economic growth.

It is easy to blame someone from outside your country for "stealing your job", but all the evidence shows that economies with mobile labour forces are able to recover from economic downturns much quicker than those with more rigid labour structures. The problem faced by employers is that low levels of mobility can lead to a mismatch between skills and jobs. Addressing this mismatch will increase productivity. The current economic and financial climate is causing a downturn in demand for goods and services and changes to labour markets. With a more mobile labour force, businesses can adapt to these new market forces.

For the individual citizen, if they are mobile, they are more likely to find a job. The average employment rate is higher for geographically mobile workers. They have better access to employment on permanent contracts and improved chances of upward job mobility. Mobile workers tend to register wage gains in their new job and they benefit from engaging with new cultures, working methods and environments.

Putting the two elements – the worker and the employee – together is an essential part of the role played by EURES, a Europe-wide employment service, supported by all the public employment services. It provides information, advice and job-matching services for the benefit of workers and employers across the EU plus Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. This is supported by more than 750 advisers working in local national employment offices offering services to jobseekers and employers. So the message must be: mobility works, now more than ever. It will help provide all Europeans with a better future.

Vladimir Spidla is the EC Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: This post arises as a result of the need to...

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teacher Required ASAP In Uminster

£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

I’m not sure I fancy any meal that’s been cooked up by a computer

John Walsh
Labour leader Ed Miliband delivers a speech on his party's plans for the NHS, in Sale, on Tuesday  

Why is Miliband fixating on the NHS when he’d be better off focussing on the wealth gap?

Andreas Whittam Smith
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore