PRESS RELEASE

Labour market mismatches in euro area countries

11 March 2002

The European Central Bank (ECB) will today publish a report on mismatches between labour supply and demand in euro area countries. Given the importance of efficient labour markets for monetary policy, experts from the central banks of the Eurosystem have prepared a report which gathers statistical evidence on the matching process in euro area labour markets and discusses policy measures for its improvement.

The report concludes that the specific labour market reform measures taken in euro area countries during the 1990s contributed to the strong employment growth and the considerable reduction in unemployment witnessed in many euro area countries during the last cyclical upswing. However, the evidence gathered also indicates that significant mismatches are still present in a number of areas, leaving ample scope for the continuation of the labour market reform process.

The report is available from the "Publications" section of the ECB's website (http://www.ecb.europa.eu). Hard copies of the report can be ordered from the ECB's Press and Information Division at the address given below.

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