September 10, 2015
The report, Economic growth potential of more circular economies, shows that expansion of the circular economy “could create three million extra jobs and reduce unemployment by 520,000” across the EU by 2030, building on a previous report to “show the picture” of what the circular economy could provide. WRAP states that the study “is the first that details the employment potential for each member state, the industries that would support it, and the skills that would be required”.
While there is already a circular economy workforce that “spans across Europe”, the study outlines and “illustrates the jobs potential for individual member states”. Around 3.4 million people are “employed in circular economy jobs” already, across repair, waste, recycling, rental and leasing sectors, with an expansion of the circular economy “potentially offer[ing] employment opportunities in all member states”, as well as “jobs that match the skills that are undersupplied in the market”.
A number of scenarios are also considered to demonstrate that by 2030, the circular economy’s current rate of expansion could “create an extra 1.2 million jobs” and “reduce structural unemployment by around 250,000”, but a “transformational expansion” would create the three million jobs and reduce unemployment by 520,000. WRAP specifically notes that “greater repairability” is just one area of improvement, which would “support the growing remanufacturing industry”.
Liz Goodwin, CEO of WRAP, commented: “Providing the bigger picture for the jobs potential from the circular economy for each individual member state makes the case for the EU to adopt an ‘ambitious’ circular economy package even stronger.
“This added layer of detail is the missing piece of the jigsaw that shows how the circular economy supports the themes of the commission’s wider plan for job creation and growth. It’s clear that many countries could see considerable benefits which could improve the jobs market, the economy, as well as the environment.”
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