Achille Seghin provides here a masterly evaluation of how the countries of Europe perform in terms of employment, measured by the percentage of the economically active population (aged 15-64, as for all international comparisons) actually in work.
Readers of Futuribles will be familiar with this indicator because we have long argued in favour of it, and it has indeed been adopted at recent European summit meetings. Nevertheless, Achille Seghin reminds us of the advantages of this indicator, especially compared with unemployment rates, which are more commonly used as a yardstick.
First he surveys the comparative performances of European countries over the last 30 years. Then, refining the analysis to take account of part-time work, he calculates a 'modified' employment rate. Finally, looking at employment by sector, he estimates employment rates for each sector: manufacturing, then services, both commercial and non-commercial.
In conclusion, Seghin argues that contrasting trends can be observed across Europe. Furthermore, he points out that the countries with the highest employment rates also have the highest levels of part-time workers, and those where the employment rate in the commercial sector is highest also have the highest rate in the non-commercial sector.