Long-term unemployment: Europe takes action to help 12 million long-term unemployed get back to work

The European Commission has today proposed guidance to Member States to better help long-term unemployed return to work. Following the relaunch of the Youth Employment Initiative in May, this is another concrete initiative in the context of the broader economic and social agenda of the Juncker Commission, which seeks to strengthen job creation, economic recovery and social fairness in Europe. There are more than 12 million people in the EU who have been unemployed for over a year. Despite the economic recovery and signs of improvements in the EU labour market, their number doubled between 2007 and 2014, accounting for about half of the total number of unemployed. The proposal for a Council recommendation presented today foresees that all jobseekers who have been jobless for more than 12 months receive an individual assessment and that they receive a job integration agreement, offering them a concrete and personalised plan back to work before reaching 18 months of unemployment. Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, commented: “Long-term unemployment is one of the most difficult and acute challenges caused by the economic crisis, affecting more than 12 million people in Europe. It exposes an increasing part of our population to the risk of poverty and social exclusion. We must act to bring them back to work. We cannot settle for an economic recovery that leaves so many Europeans behind. I am confident that today’s proposal will make a difference for them with the full support of Member States, social partners and employers.” Press releases are available in EN, DE and FR and all other EU languages online