Sustainability of EU Labour Markets During the Coronavirus Crisis

Zrównoważoność rynków pracy w UE podczas kryzysu pandemii koronawirusa

Sandra Milanović*, Jelena J. Stanković**,
Ivana Marjanović***,
Milica Jovanović Vujatović****

University of Niš, Faculty of Economics, Trg kralja Aleksandra Ujedinitelja 11,
18000 Niš, Serbia
*E-mail:, ORCID: 0000-0002-0582-045x
**E-mail:, ORCID: 0000-0002-9875-9861
***E-mail:, ORCID: 0000-0002-9526-0467
****E-mail:, ORCID: 0000-0002-6410-0938


The world’s labour markets were significantly affected by the coronavirus spread and lockdowns and deaths caused by it. Policy-makers tried to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market by imposing different measures and aid packages. Having in mind all activities for combating the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the labour market in 2020 and 2021, the question arose how resilient are labour markets to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the year before the pandemic? Therefore, this study attempts to answer this question by creating a composite index of ten labour market indicators using the MOORA ranking method. The research sample is made up of 27 European Union (EU) countries. In the first step, countries’ composite indexes were compared on a year-to-year basis (2019-2020, 2019-2021 and 2020-2021) and no significant discrepancies were observed. In the second step, differences in geographical clusters of countries were captured while comparing their composite indexes for 2020 and 2021. The study results indicate that aid packages restricted the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the EU labour markets and strengthened their sustainability. The downturn in EU labour market indicators was retained thus making divergence between geographical clusters inherited from the previous periods. The research results indicate the importance of joint EU policies in crisis periods for encouraging the sustainability of the EU labour markets and the need to make a balance among EU labour markets under normal conditions.

Key words: sustainability, labour market, EU members, coronavirus, MOORA method

Jel Classification Codes: E24, J21, J4

Słowa kluczowe: zrównoważoność, rynek pracy, państwa UE,  koronawirus, metoda MOORA

Problemy Ekorozwoju 18(1):2023: 89-99

DOI: 10.35784/pe.2023.1.09

Submitted: 8.08.22, accepted: 20.08.22, published on-line: 1.01.23