The future labor market will be characterized by quantitative and qualitative mismatch. Quantitative mismatch implies that there will be fewer workers than jobs in the future, whereas qualitative mismatch implies that the skills of the workers do not match the required skills of the job. In terms of functioning of the labor market qualitative mismatches are as important as quantitative ones.

The economic crises that most countries experienced recently, will have long run effects on employment growth. Fewer jobs will be created in the decade to come, than had been expected before the economic crisis. Policies that support the creation of jobs expecially in the private sector are recommended in the coming years.

The negative effects of the present economic crisis will not go on forever. In the more distant future the effects of demographic changes and the aging process will have a defining influence on the supply and demand for labor. As a consequence labor markets will become tighter and quantitative mismatch will rise. The ‘potential employment gap’ of 35 million workers for 2050 in the EU that was projected in the earlier study on “Bridging the gap” is still relevant.