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Working in the European Union


Working in the European Union

In the EU27, there were 41.3 million persons working part-time in 2010, of which three quarters were women.

Among those employed part-time, 8.5 million, or 21%, wished to work more hours, were available to do so and can therefore be considered to be underemployed. The share of part-time workers who are underemployed was higher for men (27%) than for women (19%).

The largest proportions of people wishing to work more hours and available to do so among part-time workers were found in Latvia (65%), Greece (49%), Spain (46%), Bulgaria (39%) and Slovakia (38%), all Member States where the shares of employed persons working part-time are relatively low.

On the other hand, the smallest proportion was found in the Netherlands (3%), where part-time working is most common, followed by Belgium (4%), the Czech Republic and Luxembourg (both 10%).

Among the economically inactive population (those persons neither employed nor unemployed), there were 8.2 million persons aged 15 to 74 available to work, but not seeking and 2.4 million seeking work, but not available in the EU27 in 2010.

While considered to be economically inactive, both groups have a certain attachment to the labour market. Together these two groups constitute a potential additional labour force of 10.6 million people. In the EU27 these two groups were equivalent to 4.5% of the current labour force, a percentage varying between Member States, from 1.4% in the Czech Republic to 11.6% in Italy.

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