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Employment effects of telecoms liberalization

A study carried out on behalf of the European Commission on the effects on employment of the liberalization of the telecommunications sector forecasts that the overall effect of liberalization could be the creation or maintenance of 1.3 million jobs across the EU, if both libe...
A study carried out on behalf of the European Commission on the effects on employment of the liberalization of the telecommunications sector forecasts that the overall effect of liberalization could be the creation or maintenance of 1.3 million jobs across the EU, if both liberalization and the diffusion of technologies are rapid.

The study analysed the effects of telecommunications liberalization in all 15 EU Member States during the period 1993-2005, taking account of both direct effects in the telecommunications sector and the indirect effects on other sectors of the economy. The study presents a number of scenarios for employment creation due to liberalization, dependant on the speed of liberalization and the speed of diffusion of new technologies. The forecasts range from net job creation of 228,000 to 1.3 million by 2005, although the study cautions that these should be treated as forecasts only. Although operators which are currently in monopoly or dominant positions in their markets will inevitably shed jobs when full liberalization arrives (by 1998 in most Member States), the study suggests that the new services and lower prices created will act as a spur to growth in other sectors of the economy.

The study notes that staff reductions of existing operators have mostly been on a voluntary basis to date. Furthermore, these staff reductions have mostly been of unskilled, administrative, network management and maintenance staff. New jobs being created in existing or new telecoms operators tend to be in areas such as customer management, sales and marketing, according to the study. In addition these new jobs are generally more flexible and require higher levels of skills and training. In the most rapid liberalization scenario, the study suggests that up to 93,000 jobs could be created in the telecoms sector alone.
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