The Green Alliance's report published this month, outlines how growth in the circular economy could create 270,000 jobs in Italy, Poland, and Germany and save at least €3 bn in unemployment costs. Crucially, the study shows that many of these jobs would address persistent regional and occupational differences in unemployment in these countries. It also shows that over 90% of these jobs would continue to exist after 2025.

The report predicts that growth in the circular economy would help reduce unemployment through increasing resource efficiency. Furthermore, circular economy practices could create large numbers of jobs in remanufacturing, repair, recycling, servitisation and the bioeconomy, across all regions and skill levels. According to the study, the transition to a circular economy will affect countries in different ways, depending on each country's industrial, economic and political background. In Italy and Germany, the report predicts that circular economy policies would reduce regional unemployment inequality, and in Poland, productivity could be boosted through remanufacturing.

The study models 3 scenarios for 2030, differing in their level of circular economy ambition, and applies certain core assumptions to Italy, Poland and Germany:

  • Scenario 1: existing policies continue but with no new initiatives.
  • Scenario 2: new policies are developed at the same rate as previous years.
  • Scenario 3: represents an ambitious circular economy transition over the next 15.

The study suggests that a third of the new circular economy jobs created - 270,000 in scenario 2 - would go to people who are currently unemployed, and the majority of these would be in remanufacturing. These jobs are also more likely to be dispersed to all parts of the country, with growth in remanufacturing creating new opportunities in former manufacturing areas.

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