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The labor shortage in Europe

Europe faces an increasing labor shortage. According to Eurostat, job vacancies in the EU reached 10 million in 2021, increased by 1.5 million compared to 2020.

The sectors most affected are health, manufacturing and hospitality. For example, Germany faces the biggest shortages since 1990, reaching 1.9 million vacancies in 2022. In Greece, tourism needs 50,000 more workers.

The main causes of the problem are the aging population, reduced migration and the effects of the pandemic. According to the OECD, healthcare shortages will reach 4.7 million by 2030. Also, the EU’s workforce is projected to decline by 3.9 million by 2030 due to aging.

The shortages have adverse effects on businesses and the economy, such as difficulty finding staff and reduced productivity. Wages are rising faster in high demand sectors, e.g. IT.

Addressing the shortages requires solutions like investments in education and training, reforms to increase the workforce, attracting immigrants, and improving working conditions. Also, automation, digitalization and artificial intelligence can help cover the gaps. Solving this challenge is critical for the future of the European economy.


The labor shortage has many negative effects, both for businesses and the economy.

  • For businesses, the labor shortage can lead to:
    • Difficulty finding staff
    • Reduced productivity
    • Increased wages
    • Increased prices of products and services
  • For the economy, the labor shortage can lead to:
    • Increased unemployment
    • Increased inequality
    • Increased inflation
    • Increased cost of living


There are many solutions that can help address the labor shortage in Europe.

  • Investments in education and training
  • Reforms to increase the workforce
  • Attracting immigrants
  • Improving working conditions
  • Automation
  • Digitalization
  • Artificial intelligence

Solving this challenge is critical for the future of the European economy.

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Cosmos Jobs is the leading company for recruitment and placement of personnel in Europe. We help businesses find the ideal employee for every need. We have a large database of candidates with varied skills and experience. We can find the right employee for you to cover the needs of your business. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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