There are few attempts to benchmark job quality in a multi-dimensional perspective across Europe. Against this background, we have created a synthetic job quality index (JQI) for the EU27 countries in an attempt to shed light on the question of how European countries compare with each other and how they are developing over time in terms of job quality. Taking account of the multi-faceted nature of job quality, the JQI is compiled on the basis of six sub-indices which cover the most important dimensions of job quality as identified in the literature. The paper addresses the methods used to construct the JQI and make it comparable over time. It presents the results for 2010 and briefly addresses changes over time to illustrate the potential and limits of a multidimensional European JQI. It also considers alternative specifications for various sub-indices and tests for the impact of changes in the indicators used on the outcomes. Overall, the findings appear to confirm the feasibility and desirability of attempting to assess job quality by means of a composite index that can be periodically updated. The key strength of this approach is the possibility to monitor and benchmark EU countries’ overall job quality performances and the outcomes in six sub-dimensions of job quality and compare them with each other, across gender and over time. At the same time, the limitations of such a composite index need to be borne in mind. The most important challenges are the availability (over time), timeliness and periodicity, comparability and disaggregation of data.
Social Indicators Research, 2014, Vol 118, Issue 1, p. 1-31
Job quality; Cross-national comparison; Europe; Index building