What are circular jobs, and why are they important?

Jobs are a cornerstone to society, contributing to wellbeing and the distribution of wealth. They can lift people out of poverty and give a sense of purpose and fulfilment. Unemployment, on the contrary, is associated with increased levels of mental health challenges and poverty, in turn leading to increased illness.

Recent estimates have highlighted the potential of the circular economy to generate net employment increases of about 700.000 jobs in Europe alone by 2030. This systemic shift will also change the type of work that will be done, how it is carried out and by whom.

Jobs in the circular economy are defined according to Circle Economy’s DISRUPT framework. This framework summarises the strategies that businesses and organisations can apply to make their production and operations more circular. The circular economy creates a wide variety of jobs in all its seven key elements.

Design for
the future

Adopt a systemic perspective during the design process, to employ the right materials for appropriate lifetime and extended future use.

The architect designs buildings to enable resource recovery after the building’s use phase and so designs for the future.

digital tecHnology

Track and optimise resource use and strengthen connections between supply-chain actors through digital, online platforms and technologies.

The data analyst makes sense of large amounts of information to connect supply and demand of secondary materials by means of digital technology.

SUSTAIN & preserve what’s already there

Track and optimise resource use and strengthen connections between supply-chain actors through digital, online platforms and technologies

The appliance technician repairs appliances, machines or vehicles and so extends the lifetime of things already made.


Consider opportunities to create greater value and align incentives through business models that build on the interaction between products and services.

The leasing process manager coordinates services providers across market segments to enable the new business model.


Utilise waste streams as a source of secondary resources and recover waste for reuse and recycling.

The recycling operative separates waste into materials that can and cannot be recovered, allowing for waste to be used as a resource.


Ensure renewable, reusable, non-toxic resources are utilised as materials and energy in an efficient way.

The solar panel installer builds solar panels and so contributes to the use of solar energy as a regenerative resource.

Team up To create
join value

Work together throughout the supply chain, internally within the organisation and with the public sector to increase transparency and create shared value.

The director of a trade organisation manages the membership organisation that facilitates collaboration for joint value creation.