Population trends, employment and labour migration in the European Union

Serguey Ivanov, United Nations

The size of the EU population of working age will start to shrink in a few years. By 2050, there will be fewer men and women of working age in the EU-25 than there have been in EU-15 before enlargement. This is likely to happen even though the projections have factored in the influx of 23 million working-age migrants. Increases in labour utilization could greatly offset some of the adverse demographics. Increasing immigration or fertility are other options. Combining United Nations demographic projections with alternative assumptions with respect to labour utilization illustrates the effects of different scenarios and highlights intra-EU diversity in terms of dynamics of labour supply and adjustment options.

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Presented in Session 188: Population ageing, labour force and international migration