Europe: For Richer, For Poorer? Government s Role in Preserving Standard of Living

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1 Delivering Public Service for the Future Europe: For Richer, For Poorer? Government s Role in Preserving Standard of Living Learn about delivering public service for the future by creating high performing labour markets UNIVERSITÉ FIRE DEPARTMENT POLIZIA Personalized Services Insight Driven Public Entrepreneurship Mission Productivity

2 Foreword Accenture s Delivering Public Service for the Future programme is a series of research papers and perspectives on what public service for the future could mean, and what it will take to get there. Our goal is to inspire and support public service leaders: to take a fresh look at the problems they face, to highlight innovative solutions to emulate, to present paths to progress they may not have considered, and to show how all of the pieces can fit together. Accenture s flagship study, Navigating the Shifts 1, identified four profound structural shifts moving from standardised to personalised services, reactive to insight driven, public management to public entrepreneurship, and piecemeal efficiency to mission productivity. Organisations adopting these changes are delivering public service for the future supporting a flourishing society, safe and secure nation, and economic vitality for citizens. Our latest Delivering Public Service for the Future research explores how governments can apply these four structural shifts to help ensure prosperous labour markets and national well-being. We analysed the implications of demographic changes in 162 countries. We also surveyed jobseekers, employers and public employment service officials in 11 countries including France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. Accenture focused on this burning platform: If governments do not respond with urgency and decisiveness to address the fundamental challenges in their labour markets, they will see a decline in productivity growth and a shrinking workforce. That, in turn, will result in a decline in overall standard of living in Europe. Now is the time to act. We believe that by applying the structural shifts to their labour markets embracing greater transparency, nurturing stronger connections, enhancing flexibility and enabling people to go where the jobs are Europe s governments can play a pivotal role in preserving the standard of living for the people they serve. Bernard Le Masson Managing Director Health & Public Service, Global Management Consulting Lead 1 Delivering Public Service for the Future: Navigating the Shifts Global Study, October 2012, 1

3 FIRE DEPARTMENT POLIZIA 2

4 Threats to Standard of Living In analysing Europe s labour markets, Accenture found threats to standard of living in the form of demographic shifts resulting in fewer people available to work, stagnant participation rates and faltering productivity growth. Unless government takes action, standard of living in the European countries studied will decline between 7 per cent and 11 per cent by 2030 threatening the assumption that future generations will be better off than their parents. See Figure 1. Based on our research and experience, Accenture has identified four key labour market issues that European governments have to address to preserve standard of living: 1. Geographic dislocation of jobs Job vacancies in Europe are often geographically dislocated from the supply of skills, and many workers lack the ability or desire to move. Accenture found that with the exception of Italy, only one-tenth of jobseekers in European countries surveyed are very open to moving somewhere within their region or state to find a new job. In addition, jobseekers in Italy and France are more willing to relocate to another country (39 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively) than their counterparts in the UK and Germany (13 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively). 2. Barriers to entry Nearly half of youth (aged 18 to 24) cite lack of work experience as a major factor in not obtaining employment. The prospect of not earning a full-time wage has deterred one-third of women in the UK (35 per cent) and Germany (32 per cent) from entering employment. Fortyfive per cent of women in Italy, 42 per cent in Germany, 35 per cent in France and 33 per cent in the UK did not accept a job as it was not financially worth it. 3. Mismatch between skills and jobs With high levels of both unemployment and job vacancies at the same time, Europe clearly faces a skills mismatch. Despite general improvement in the quality of public education, Accenture s surveys show that not enough employees are equipped with the skills that employers need. 4. Volatile business environments Employers in the European countries surveyed believe the overall rigidity of the European labour market inhibits their ability to adapt to changing market dynamics and business cycles. Concern is highest in France where 66 per cent say that there is too much regulation, followed by Italy (57 per cent), UK (42 per cent) and Germany (38 per cent). Figure 1: Accenture predicts that standard of living will decline up to 12 percent by 2030 across the countries studied. France -8% Germany -11% Italy -8% United Kingdom -7% Help Wanted: Eliminating Frustration Among All Stakeholders Compounding the problem, European citizens, employers, jobseekers and public employment officials all expressed dissatisfaction and frustration with the labour market in our surveys: Citizen trust in government is low. Overall confidence levels to address employment and skills by European citizens are low. Fifty-four per cent in Germany, 70 per cent in the UK, 76 per cent in France, and 86 per cent in Italy have little or no confidence that the government can deliver effective public services in the next five years. Employers cannot find the talent they need. Less than 15 per cent of European employers have sufficient access to the skills they need (ranging from 8 and 9 per cent in the UK and France, respectively, to 14 per cent in 3 Germany and Italy). Less than one-fifth of employers use public employment services often, and they do not feel that future skill needs are well understood. Jobseekers cannot find the jobs they want. Almost 80 per cent of European jobseekers in the countries surveyed do not have an easy time finding a job. They feel that openings do not match their skills, and nearly two-thirds do not find the advice provided by public employment services to be useful. Public employment service officials are not connected to employers. European employers do not have frequent interaction with employment-related public agencies suggesting opportunity to improve relevance to employers. Indeed, almost two- thirds of public employment service officials believe they have only limited insight into future skill needs of companies and cite lack of engagement with the business community as a top challenge. Though only one of many stakeholders in any labour market, European governments have an opportunity to play a pivotal role in orchestrating the jobs and skills environment and supporting a world-class labour market. Accenture believes that a new, comprehensive approach is needed to address these threats and deliver a worldclass jobs and skills environment one that requires a transformation not only of public employment services, but also of education and skills providers, jobseekers and employers.

5 Achieving World-Class Labour Markets Based on experience and our latest research, Accenture has developed three recommendations for Europe to help increase participation rates, drive productivity and achieve a world-class labour market. To deliver public service for the future, Accenture believes high-performing labour markets must be: 1. Transparent and Insight Driven Nine in 10 European employment service officials rate effective information sharing with employers as key to understanding labour market trends yet only half of those surveyed are currently using forecasting tools. To achieve a world-class labour market, all relevant stakeholders need to leverage Labour Market Intelligence (LMI) to drive transparency and information sharing. High-performing governments that embrace greater transparency, intelligent forecasting and data insights will help deliver better outcomes and shift labour markets from reactive to insight driven. 2. Connected and Collaborative A connected labour market requires open sharing of information and strategies across a complex jobs and skills environment. Digitally enabled collaboration fosters a greater understanding of each stakeholder s role and contributions in the environment. It supports the important shift away from piecemeal efficiency and toward mission productivity. Further, it reinforces a strong focus on what truly matters: building a labour market characterised by shorter lengths of unemployment, better alignment of skills to jobs, and higher participation rates and productivity levels. 3. Flexible and Accessible High-performing labour markets can be defined as those with responsive regulatory environments that allow business to be flexible and adapt to the inherently dynamic nature of business cycles. Governments that shift from a public management to public entrepreneurship mindset also will be better positioned to adjust to new demands. In the shift from standardised services to personalised services, governments can leverage digital to increase access to individual paths to prosperity. Accenture s analysis provides evidence that decreasing participation rates and falling productivity growth rates will lead to a decline in standard of living. Accenture s analysis provides evidence that decreasing participation rates and falling productivity growth rates will lead to a decline in standard of living in most European countries. By aligning to the four fundamental shifts necessary to deliver public service for the future, governments and public officials can help create a jobs and skills environment that is more transparent and connected and that offers greater flexibility and greater flexibility and accessibility. See Figure 2. In doing so, they can play a pivotal role in achieving a world-class labour market that preserves the standard of living in Europe. Local threats and recommendations will be explored more specifically within each country s executive summary as part of the Delivering Public Service for the Future series. Figure 2: Four fundamental shifts are the foundation of the characteristics of high performing labor markets. Personalised Services Transparent Flexible Connected Insight Driven Mission Productivity Public Entrepreneurship 4

6 UNIVERSITÉ About the Research Accenture analysed trends related to demography, workforce participation rates and productivity in 162 countries. Together, these factors add up to gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, used as the measure of standard of living: Demography For the purposes of this research, demography is the share of working-age population (aged 16 to 64) in the total population. Demographic trends can be predicted with high confidence using the United Nations age-based demographic projections as the main driver of this analysis. Accenture obtained demographic data from the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2013), World Population Prospects. Participation Participation is defined as the share of working-age people who are employed. Only those who are working produce income. Thus, this analysis uses only employment participation data and excludes unemployed jobseekers. To keep the model simple, there is no differentiation between full- and part-time jobs. Accenture obtained participation data from the World Bank, World Development Indicators (retrieved December 2013). Productivity Productivity is defined as workers contribution to a country s GDP more specifically, real GDP (in constant 2005 US Dollars) per worker. Accenture obtained productivity data from World Bank, World Development Indicators (retrieved December 2013). FIRE DEPARTMENT POLIZIA 5

7 Three-factor Standard of Living Model Given that most countries long-term productivity growth rate is trending toward the zero-per cent line, the base scenario assumes that productivity and participation growth rate is maintained at zero. Under this scenario, Accenture estimates that within the sample of studied countries, standard of living defined as real GDP per capita is set to fall up to 12 per cent by 2030 in some countries. In addition to providing a diagnostic tool to highlight an emerging burning platform, a three-factor model evaluates the potential impact of changes in participation and and productivity. See Figure 3. To customise Accenture s projection, interactive parameters were built to manipulate the participation (annual employment participation growth in percentage points) and productivity (annual growth in real GDP per worker) assumptions underpinning a range of standard of living scenarios. Accenture s standard of living model provides participation and productivity outcomes required to counter the impact of projected demographic headwinds. However, it does not offer insight into the most effective way of achieving these outcomes. To that end, Accenture conducted four surveys in 11 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States), 12 US states (California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Washington) and the Canadian province of Ontario. These surveys provide a 360-degree view on the jobs and skills environment: Accenture Citizen Survey: General population (aged 18 64), 10 questions, 500 interviews per country excluding boost. Boost for 12 US states + Ontario (n=400 per state). Accenture Job Seekers Survey: Currently unemployed and seeking work, employed but with experience of three months unemployment in last five years, and employed but seeking another job. 31 questions. 500 interviews per country, excluding boost except US (1000), India (400), Singapore (250). Boost for 12 US states + Ontario (n=400 per state). Accenture Employers Survey: Range of company sizes small, medium and large. 28 questions. 300 interviews per country excluding boost. Boost for 12 US states + Ontario (n=100 per state). Accenture Public Employment Services Officials Survey: Senior executives and decision makers of public employment services/agencies. 23 questions. 100 interviews per country. Ipsos Mori and MGuire Research Services executed the surveys between September and November Figure 3: A three-factor model evaluates the potential impact of changes in participation and productivity. Factor 1 x Factor 2 x Factor 3 = Total working age population / Total population Total population in work / Total working age population GDP / Total population in work GDP / Total population Demography Participation Productivity Standard of Living 6

8 For more information contact Bernard Le Masson Managing Director Health & Public Service, Global Management Consulting Lead Connect with us to learn more on delivering public service for the future on About Delivering Public Service for the Future What does it take to deliver public service for the future? Public service leaders must embrace four structural shifts advancing toward personalised services, insight-driven operations, a public entrepreneurship mindset and a cross-agency commitment to mission productivity. By making these shifts, leaders can support flourishing societies, safe, secure nations and economic vitality for citizens in a digital world delivering public service for the future. About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 293,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$28.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, Its home page is Copyright 2014 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture

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