Beyond the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on public health and people’s lives, the accompanying lockdowns and restrictions have had a huge toll on livelihoods.
To date, 2020 has proved to be a rollercoaster ride for the European and global economies. For instance, in the second quarter of the year, the EU economy contracted by an unprecedented 12% compared with the previous quarter, shedding 5.5 million jobs, the largest decline the EU has ever recorded. Overall, in 2020, the European economy is expected to contract by around 9%.
Ending the growth treadmill
A new major report by the European Environment Bureau (EEB) and the European Youth Forum (EYF) provides a blueprint for creating jobs in a post-pandemic EU and, a vision for revolutionising the future of work, including universal basic incomes, shorter working weeks, job sharing, job guarantees and economic democracy.
‘Escaping the growth and jobs treadmill: a new policy agenda for post-coronavirus Europe’, empirically demonstrates that the current orthodoxy insisting that constant economic growth is a prerequisite for job creation is not only flawed but also socially and environmentally destructive.
It is within our means to put everyone to work and ensure human wellbeing without economic growth if productivity gains are distributed fairly and the focus of policy shifts to socially beneficial work, not just the most profitable jobs.
“Livelihoods matter. Not just for the richest in society. But for all of us. Labour matters. Not just as the means to production but as an investment in the building of society,” says Tim Jackson, the acclaimed economist and author of Prosperity without Growth, who provided a foreword for the report. “Those are the lessons of this timely and essential report.”
You can download the report here.