Policy papers

How can cities ensure resilient labour markets?

30 March 2021

The economy has been disproportionally affected by Covid-19, leading to the disappearance of jobs and the emergence of new sectors. Cities are implementing measures to ensure that workers can transition the labour market. Among the common actions to improve the service provided to people is the adaptation of the public employment and training services to an online, or hybrid format, as well as the development of digital job-matching tools to link unemployed people to staff shortages in emerging sectors.

The up-skilling and reskilling of workers is at the heart of active labour markets and recovery policies promoted by cities. Beside the changes of a crisis-hit economy, the impact of the twin transition on workers’ competences for new jobs, creates the need for strong skills intelligence in local labour markets. Cities work with the private sector to anticipate the skills needed and they provide tailor made support to jobseekers to boost their employability. Training and lifelong learning are at the centre of many recovery strategies.

Cities have also dedicated efforts to supporting the most affected groups, such as the long term unemployed, older workers, women, young people, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities or low-skilled workers. Participation in training programmes is a challenge, particularly for women who have had to take on the majority of caring and home-schooling duties due to lockdowns, as well as those who lacked access to electronic devices or the internet. Covid-19 has highlighted the need to foster inclusive job-markets, and cities have taken the first steps to ensure that vulnerable groups are not left behind in recovery efforts.

Read Eurocities Policy brief on employment and labour markets recovery