Social dialogue in this sector covers activities defined by NACE (Rev. 2) codes 20, 21 and 22:
The EU chemical sector employs over 3.5 million people (about 1% of the EU workforce) (Eurostat, 2014 Labour Force Survey data) in about 95 000 companies, most of them SMEs.
Despite the economic crisis which started in 2008, employment rates in the chemical sector have held up reasonably well in terms of both direct and indirect employment. Although the sector has lost its leading role worldwide, it remains key to the European economy's export position.
Challenges include slow demand growth in Europe, high demand growth in Asia, higher production costs and a highly regulated environment. The main regulatory challenge is implementing a workable, cost-effective system for the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemical substances (REACH).
The employers' and workers' organisations represented on this committee are currently focusing on:
(copied from EC - Sectoral social dialogue)