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News Story:

Employment in Europe


Employment in Europe

Labour Force Survey

Employment rate for those aged 20 to 64 in the EU27 decreased to 68.6% in 2010

Full-time employees worked 40.4 hours a week on average

The total employment rate1 for people in the EU27 aged 20 to 64, which is the age group targeted in the Europe2020 strategy2, rose steadily from 66.8% in 2002 to 70.4% in 2008, then fell to 69.1% in 2009, and decreased further in 2010 to 68.6%. The employment rate for women in this age group, which increased continuously from 57.3% in 2000 to 63.0% in 2008, dropped for the first time in 2009 to 62.5%, then fell slightly again in 2010 to 62.1%. In contrast, the rate for older people, i.e. those aged 55 to 64, has continued to grow, reaching 46.3% in 2010, compared with 36.9% in 2000.

This information comes from a report3 published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, based on the 2010 results of the European Labour Force Survey.

Highest employment rates in Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and Cyprus

In 2010, the employment rate for persons aged 20 to 64 was highest in Sweden (78.7%), the Netherlands (76.8%), Denmark (76.1%), Cyprus (75.4%), Germany and Austria (both 74.9%). The lowest rates were recorded in Malta (59.9%), Hungary (60.4%), Italy (61.1%), Spain (62.5%) and Romania (63.3%).

The employment rates for women aged 20 to 64 ranged from 41.4% in Malta and 49.5% in Italy to 75.7% in Sweden and 73.1% in Denmark, while for men in this age group it varied between 63.6% in Lithuania and 65.1% in Latvia, and 82.8% in the Netherlands and 82.5% in Cyprus. In all Member States, the male employment rate was higher than the female rate in 2010, except in Lithuania.

The employment rates for those aged 55 to 64 were highest in Sweden (70.5%), Germany (57.7%), Denmark (57.6%) and the United Kingdom (57.1%), and lowest in Malta (30.2%), Poland (34.0%) and Hungary (34.4%).

Longest working hours for full-time employees in the United Kingdom and Austria shortest in Denmark and Ireland

In the EU27 in 2010, 81.5% of persons employed worked full-time4, with shares of 68.6% for women and 92.2% for men. On average in the EU27, employees working full-time usually worked 40.4 hours a week, with women averaging 39.3 hours and men 41.1 hours. The longest weekly working hours for full-time employees were observed in the United Kingdom (42.2 hours), Austria (42.0), Bulgaria and the Czech Republic (both 41.2), and the shortest in Denmark (37.7), Ireland (38.4), the Netherlands (38.9) and Italy (39.0). In all Member States, men had longer working hours than women among full-time employees.