Impact of current core trends on the labour market in the retail and wholesale sector. EuroCommerce and UNI Europa, the EU social partners for the retail and wholesale sector, today published the findings of a joint report, Analysis of the labour market in retail & wholesale. The study was undertaken to gain a better understanding of the impact of current core trends affecting employment and work arrangements in the retail and wholesale sector.
Change is always disruptive, but it is a constant in the retail and wholesale sector.
The sector has a good record in employing a diverse set of skills, and developing those skills to allow people to grow in the organisations in which they work. The report provides a structured and comprehensive survey of 3 main topics: structure and major trends in the EU retail and wholesale sector, labour market and changing forms of employment and work arrangements, and industrial relations.
The retail and wholesale sector are experiencing rapid and persistent changes in demographics, economic conditions, technology, environment and regulation.
Digitalisation is changing the sector fundamentally, creating new business opportunities and models, and new jobs, and new forms of work and self-employment. The study looks at these and includes case studies in EU Member States, covering country-specific issues, such as the impact of immigration.
Christian Verschueren, Director General of EuroCommerce said: “This report reflects the importance of the sector as a generator of employment in the EU: 23 million workers in the retail sector and 9 million in the wholesale sector in 2015. We hope that this study will help inform decisions at both European and national level about the future of work in our sector, ensuring a future of satisfying and valuable jobs for everyone working in the sector.”
UNI Europa Regional Secretary, Oliver Roethig concluded: “Industrial relations are country-specific, but it seems that in several countries there is a tendency towards decentralisation or disruption of social dialogue: in this context, a constructive national social dialogue is an important pre-requisite for tackling the challenges for the sector. As digitalisation is the major driver for change, the sector will require new skills and more training of its employees, and new forms of work will increasingly emerge. More than ever, the social partners stress the importance of sectoral social dialogue both at the European and the nation al level.”
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
“The retail and wholesale services sector is one of the most important sectors in the EU economy and should play an important part in stimulating growth and job creation under the Europe 2020 strategy”, according to the European Commission’s DG Grow in 2013.
However, the sector has recognised that there has been a lack of descriptive and data-driven analysis of both the drivers of change and their impacts on the sectoral labour market. Following both the global dialogue of April 2015, as well as the opinion of the sub-groups of the EU High Level Group for Competitiveness of the Retail sector, EuroCommerce and UNI-Europa decided to carry out a joint European study in order to address this data gap.
The objective of this study is to improve understanding of the impact of current core trends regarding employment and work arrangements in the retail and wholesale sector across different Member States in Europe.
This report provides a structured and comprehensive insight into the following research topics:
– Structure and major trends in the EU retail and wholesale sector;
– Labour market analysis and changing forms of employment and work arrangements;
– Industrial relations.
The study also assists in the promotion and further development of European social dialogue at sectoral level, by providin descriptive and data-driven information that can support a consensus-based approach between the EU social partners (and their members).