2022 was a busy one in the labour market. As the pandemic’s impact was initially felt in Europe, cross-border job searches fell 32% below their 2017-19 average, according to data from jobs site Indeed. Those figures stayed low during most of 2020, as well as the first half of 2021.
But since then, searches––and hiring activity–– have rebounded. According to EU labour market quarterly statistics from Eurostat, 193.9 million people in the EU were employed in the second quarter of 2022, up by 0.3 percentage points from 74.5% in the first quarter of the year.
This year, a Job Seeker Nation Report found that worker confidence was at an all-time high, with 35% of job seekers believing it’s easier to find a job now than in 2021. Almost half of those surveyed said they are actively looking for a new job or planning to within the next year too.
But that’s 2022. What does the outlook say for 2023? The Indeed Hiring Lab and Glassdoor Economic Research have analysed their shared data for a Workplace Trends Report 2023, and identified five trends that will reshape the labour market in 2023, and in the long-term.
Trend 1: Power is still in workers’ hands
Despite rumblings to the contrary, the report says that the tight labour market we’ve experienced over the past couple of years is set to continue. It points to one core factor: our ageing global populations.
According to the World Bank, over the next decade, the number of people between 15-65 will decline. This shrinking working age cohort is seen in the UK, where deaths are projected to exceed births by 2025, in Germany, where the population is ageing and the labour force is shrinking, and in France, where the labour force is expected to expand slowly until 2040, but then contract.
This trend offers talented employees plenty of advantages. Plus, many EU countries need inward migration to boost their labour forces, so those with skills can go where the jobs and money are.
Trend 2: Remote work is working
A lot of anecdotal chatter is taking place about the return to the office. But a recent CBRE survey found that in the U.S. and EMEA regions only 5% or fewer companies expect staff to be in the office full-time nowadays.
Indeed and Glassdoor’s 2023 trends report found both remote job postings and remote job searches remain elevated. Additionally, 16% of women and 11% of men aged 25-54 who are actively job hunting, gave wanting a remote job as a reason for their current job hunt.
Trend 3: It’s all about pay and benefits
Going hand-in-hand with the tight labour market, workers know that they can ask for more––and probably get some, if not all of what they request.
While most EU workers receive state-funded health, social protection and maternity benefits as standard and enjoy good paid holidays, money matters. The Central Bank of Ireland reports that growth in euro-area wages accelerated in 2022, reaching 5.2% year-on-year in October. This was more than three times the pre-pandemic rate.
And workers increasingly want more. Commuting benefits and in-office snacks or lunch are two big ticket items staff will be seeking next year.
Trend 4: Culture is king
Stress and burnout are causing people to leave jobs. A 2021 Statista survey found that 66% percent of respondents in Poland reported suffering from a burnout or felt on the verge of it. In Czechia, the figure was 59%, and 55% in Switzerland. Germany, Spain and Ukraine tied at 51%.
According to Indeed’s Work Wellbeing 2022 Insights Report, 90% of people believe that how we feel at work matters, yet only 49% think their company is measuring happiness and wellbeing.
This is clearly important for employees, but it also matters to a business’ bottom line. Hiring is an expensive undertaking and Glassdoor data indicates that in Germany, a 1-star increase in an employee’s Glassdoor rating is associated with a 15% decline in the likelihood that they begin a new job application within the next week.
Trend 5: Diversity matters
Increasingly as well, we want to work at companies where diversity and inclusion (D&I) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies are in place––and properly implemented.
There is a generational divide too, which companies cannot afford to ignore. Those in the Millennial and Gen Z cohorts now expect the companies and institutions they work for to engage on contentious issues of fairness and equity.
As Millennials are expected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, and Gen Z workers will be 30% of the workforce by 2030, companies need to take their feelings seriously.