The EU economy is maintaining the growth first seen in the second quarter of 2013 (+0.4% in Q4), with estimated gross domestic product (GDP) figures from across the EU indicating that a recovery has started, albeit at a relatively slow pace. At this early stage, it is difficult to assess whether and when this fragile economic recovery will bring new jobs and to what extent society as a whole will benefit. Improvements in the labour markets in Europe are still at best weak. Employment in the EU showed the first signs of stabilising during 2013, with a mild increase in the number of persons... employed in the third and fourth quarters (+0.1% in both). This reflects a slow-down of the number of employed losing their jobs, though the job finding rate continues to deteriorate. It also corresponds to a slowdown in the decrease of employment in the construction and industry sectors, while the number of employed continued to grow in the service sectors. In February 2014, managers in the EU expected moderate employment growth in industry, while employment expectations in the services sector were still below their long-term average. In 2013, the gross disposable income of households continued to decline in the Euro area1 in real terms, but at a slower pace and nearly stabilised in the third quarter, reflecting the evolution of labour market incomes and a weakening of the stabilisation impact of welfare spending. Growth in households’ disposable income is lagging behind GDP growth. There is a danger that the recovery will not benefit all parts of the economy equally, with a large part of households and individuals potentially benefiting only marginally, if at all, from the slightly improved economic situation. In the third quarter of 2013, real gross disposable household income remained stable overall in the Euro area compared to the same quarter in 2012.