Glassdoor Labour Market Index

October 19, 2016

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In a global labour market, employers need information about the different places where they can choose to invest and hire, and job seekers need information about the places where they can live and work. Questions they need answers to include: How do unemployment rates and wages differ between countries? Where are labour market conditions improving, and how do changes in each job market compare with expectations?

This Glassdoor Economic Research report, produced in cooperation with Llewellyn Consulting, answers these questions for 18 European countries and the United States using an index constructed from job market data. The report charts the index over time for the individual countries to see how recent changes in their labour markets compared to their historical performance.

Key findings:

  • Labour market conditions in the European Union as a whole have been improving faster than expected since late 2013, and the improvement has picked up speed in the past six months.
  • Labour market momentum in Greece, Portugal, and Spain is strong as these countries continue to recover from severe downturns brought on by the financial crisis in 2008.
  • In Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Belgium, and the Netherlands, labor market momentum is below historical averages, likely because these countries are already economically successful and have not had to work as hard to recover from the 2008 crisis.

This study finds that weaker labour markets are speeding ahead with faster improvements than expected, while strong markets have less momentum compared to their historical averages. This is good news because if these trends continue, the weaker markets could eventually make up some ground on the stronger ones, leading to more equal conditions across countries. However, in Europe there remains a clear north/ south divide, with Switzerland, Denmark and Norway having the best overall labour markets in the current environment.