The transition towards a circular economy has been set in motion. National policy frameworks are being developed and the European Commission adopted the Circular Economy Package in December 2015. By 2018, several actions mentioned in this package have been adopted or initiated. Policymakers, industry and – increasingly – citizens understand the potential that the circular economy could bring. The circular economy is a comprehensive proposition, of which mainly the economic and environmental benefits have been highlighted. There is however relatively little known about the implications of the circular economy for the EU labour market. To highlight a few relevant questions:
- To what extent and what type of jobs will be created and lost?
- What is the net effect on the total number and type of jobs?
- What are the implications in terms of job reallocation or changes in skill requirements?
Through bottom-up macro-economic modelling of concrete circular economy actions, our study provides a comprehensive analysis on employment changes across all sectors in the EU, as a result of a transition towards a more circular and resource-efficiency economy. This recently published study was carried out together with Cambridge Econometrics (lead partner) and ICF.
The study concludes that the shift to a circular economy can have a positive impact on employment in the EU, but it will not act as a major source of job creation. Concerning skill requirements, expected changes brought about by the circular economy transition are in line with other trends, pushing for more medium and higher-skilled workers, transferable skills and digital skills.
For more information on this project and a list of key messages drawn from the study, please visit our project page.