Today, the Commission has published a report taking stock of progress made to help long-term unemployed people getting back to work since the Council adopted beginning of 2016 a Recommendation to speed up the return to work of the long-term unemployed, proposed by the Commission in 2015. The report shows that EU Member States have put in place a number of measures to improve the support to the long-term unemployed, meaning people unemployed for more than one year. Furthermore, the number of long-term unemployed decreased by more than 2.5 million since the adoption of the Recommendation.With 6.5%, the overall EU unemployment rate stands at its lowest level ever recorded, but there are discrepancies in unemployment rates and shares of long-term unemployed between Member States. This being said, the report shows that the most considerable policy changes took place in Member States with less developed support for the long-term unemployed. This led to increased convergence in policy approaches across the EU. Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: “Our Recommendation has put the issue of long-term unemployed high on the political agenda, at both EU and national levels. It has also been a catalyst for change, encouraging Member States to put in place more holistic and individualised support while increasing coordination of services and employer involvement. This needs to continue so that everyone who can work can integrate quickly into the labour market.” In addition to analysing the effectiveness of the different measures undertaken by Member States, the Commission and other relevant actors, the report also assesses the efficiency, relevance, coherence and the EU added value of the Recommendation in line with the EU Better Regulation approach. The report is published here. A factsheet detailing recent trends and ways forward regarding long-term unemployment is available here.