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esde report 2023

Persistent labour shortages in Europe: latest insights from the ESDE report

Published date

Discover essential insights about Europe’s workforce challenges, revealed by the Employment and Social Developments in Europe (ESDE) Report.


Europe is currently experiencing a tightening of the labour market. This means that while that problems are not new, labour market imbalances seem to be aggravating. Considering, that it is important to understand and tackle labour shortages and skills gaps, the European Commission devoted one of their flagship reports to this topic this year.

ESDE report on labour shortages

The 2023 ESDE publication focuses on how to tackle the mismatch between the demand for and supply of labour in a specific occupation and, in a specific geographic location. The conclusions confirms that labour shortages are not only persistent, but expected to increase, in those occupations. It flags e.g. that labour shortages are caused by a combination of factors, for instance changing needs of special skills during the green and digital transition, societal developments and due to working conditions.

The ESDE report also looked at policy measures to tackle labour and skills gaps. Initiatives mentioned refer to skills development, improved job matching, addressing labour market participation of certain groups of workers and improving the attractiveness of certain occupations.

ELA contributed to the ESDE report. 

ELA’s report on labour shortages and surpluses

The ELA in March 2023 published its most recent report on labour shortages and surpluses. The report found that  software, healthcare, construction and engineering crafts lack workers. In contrast, in clerical occupations, elementary occupations and professional occupations in the humanities and in the arts, tend to be more workers than jobs available. These findings align with the policy recommendations outlined in the ESDE report, when consolidating insights from ELA/EURES and other sources.