EU: Labour market in 2020

21 April 2021
Employment rates EU 2002-2020 (Photo:

Employment rates EU 2002-2020 (Photo:

In 2020, the labour market in the EU was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The employment rate for persons aged 20-64 dropped to 72.4%, down by 0.7 percentage points (pp) in comparison to 2019. The employment rate for men of that age group stood at 78.1%, down from 79.0% in 2019. The employment rate for women was 66.8%, down from 67.3%. This development led to a further decrease in the gender employment gap, to 11.3 pp, in comparison to 11.7 pp in 2019.

This information comes from recently published data on the labour market in 2020. In addition, today Eurostat publishes further detailed breakdowns of the annual estimates for 2020.

Among Member States, all but three Member States recorded a decline in the employment rate between 2019 and 2020. Sweden showed the highest employment rate at 80.8%, while the lowest was observed in Greece with 61.1%. The largest drops in the employment rate between 2019 and 2020 were recorded in Spain (-2.3 pp to 65.7%), Ireland (-1.7 pp to 73.4%) and Bulgaria (-1.6 pp to 73.4%). The increases were observed in Malta (+0.6 pp to 77.4%), Poland (+0.6 pp to 73.6%) and Croatia (+0.2 pp to 66.9%).