Labour market developments have been improving against the background of a gradual economic recovery in the EU. Unemployment in the EU has continued to fall and job finding rates have modestly improved. However, despite its recent fall, unemployment remains high. The number of unemployed in the first quarter of 2015 was 23.6 million in the EU. The share of long-term unemployed is on the rise, standing at 4.9% in the first quarter of 2015.
According to the findings of the new 2015 Labour Market and Wage Developments in Europe report, job creation was significant in 2014 considering the weak pace of recovery. After five years of almost continuous decline, in 2014 employment expanded at an annual rate of 1%. This unusually swift response of unemployment has been supported inter alia by supportive labour cost developments.