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Employment in Europe 1997. Report from the Commission. COM (97) 479 final, 1 October 1997

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untitled COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES Brussels, 01.10.1997 COM(97) 479 final REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION Elllployinent • In EUROPE 1997. Barbara Rectangle Barbara Sticky Note Completed set by Barbara An employment agenda for the yea.z: 2000: ~xe~utive summary ·An employment agenda for the year 2000: executive summary The Employment in Europe report 1997 comes at a defining moment in the development of the Union. The new Treaty, agreed at Amsterdam, makes employment a matter of common concern and introduces employ- ment as an explicit goal for the Union. This report contributes to the preparations for the extraordinary European Council on employment and unemployment and to the further development of the European employ- ment strategy. It presents the latest trends in employment and the labour market and looks forward to the challenges of the 21st Century as the European Union prepares itselffor this new phase in its develop- ment with the completion of the Single Market, the third phase of EMU and the preparations for the new wave of enlargement. Recent developments in jobs and employability At 1.5%, economic growth was slow in 1996, the re- covery not gathering momentum until the end of the year. Inflation, at 21/2% continued to be low and wage developments were moderate. • employment rose by some 600 000 in 1996, not enough to make significant inroads into making good the job losses of the recession or reducing un- employment; • part-time jobs again accounted for all neljob cre- ation in 1996, as they have each year since 1990; • the rise in job opportunities led to a renewed rise in labour force participation. Participation of women in- creased further, from S6lf2% to 57% and withdrawal of men from the labour market slowed down; • unemployment remains stubbornly high at 10.8% in mid-1997, and over 5% of the labour force in the Union had been unemployed for a year or more in 1996; • the unemployed had great difficulty

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