Polarisation between countries in the shift towards a knowledge economy

Job growth in the EU28 was concentrated in high-skilled occupations (Figure 2.9).   Since 2013, professionals have on average been the fastest growing occupational group in theEU28, expanding by 5 million jobs, at a growth rate of 13%.  Technicians and associate professionals saw a growth by 2.9 million jobs (+8.6%), and service and sales workers by 2 million jobs (+5.6%). In the same period, the EU labour market generated 0.7 million elementary-level jobs (+3.6%).  The capacity to generate high-skilled jobs differed across Member States (Figure 2.10). In Finland, high-skilled, white-collar occupations (managers, professionals and technicians) were the only occupational group that showed a net job growth between 2013 and 2018. Job growth was also concentrated in these occupations in Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Latvia and Estonia. On the other hand, in Greece virtually no new jobs for professionals were generated, while 84% of new jobs were in clerical, service and sales occupations, and 13% in elementary occupations.  In Lithuania, Spain, Romania and Czechia, clerks, service and sales workers also accounted for a substantial share of job growth. Finally, skilled manual occupations mostly expanded in southern and eastern European countries, such as Hungary, Romania, Czechia, Slovakia, Portugal and Spain.

more information in Benchmarking Working Europe 2019 - Chapter 2 Labour market and social developments