Know somebody down at the local bike shop or at the coffee stop you call in to? If you tell them that they’re “1 in a million”, this could soon be spot on.
At the moment they’re part of the 655,000 people who work in cycling related sectors across the EU, most of them being in cycle tourism.
The ECF (European Cyclists’ Federation) believe that cycling’s modal share of transport could be doubled, which would create more than 400,000 more jobs, reaching a total of 1 million jobs in the cycling economy. Job creation has become a main priority of EU policy, particularly as a reaction to the global financial and economic crisis that started in 2008.
It was because of the economic significance of jobs that the ECF decided to commission academic consultancy Transport & Mobility Leuven to carry out a study that quantifies the contribution of the cycling sector to job creation in Europe. The study was carried out with support from ECF’s partners in the Cycling Industry Club. It continues the work that has been initiated by ECF with the report on the cycling economy, which estimated the economic benefit of cycling at € 205 bn per year for the EU-27.
The ECF study also came to the conclusion that cycling has a higher employment intensity per million of turnover than other transport sectors, thus offering a higher job creation potential. Furthermore, cycling jobs are more geographically stable than other sectors, they benefit local economies, and they offer access to the labour market to workers with few qualifications.
So far, investment in cycling has mostly been driven by factors like the need for a more efficient transport system, congestion relief, health benefits or improved access. Employment in the cycling sector has rarely been used as an argument at the international level, except for cycling tourism – which has already been shown to be bigger than the cruise industry. The aim of the study is to show that employment in the cycling sector is a co-benefit of investments in cycling, and also a benefit in its own right.
The study makes a research-based assessment of the economic value of the cycling sector for the European economy, focusing on jobs and employment. This study is one of the first to undertake the challenge of quantifying cycling jobs at European level. ECF took into account multiple cycling-related activities such as bike retail, bicycle manufacturing, bike infrastructure investment, cycle tourism and bicycle services. The study also quantified the full-time equivalent number of jobs. This is consistent with common practice in computing employment impact of economic policy measures.
You can download the full ECF report for further information.
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