EU employment rises for first time since global crash

7 May 15

The employment rate across the European Union has risen for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, sparking greater signs of an economic recovery, according to the EU’s statistical office Eurostat.

The proportion of people aged 20 to 64 in work jumped from 68.4% to 69.2% during 2013 and 2014, but failed to reach the peak of 70.3% that was recorded in 2008.

Employment increased in almost every EU state, including Germany (77.7%) and Sweden (80%), countries that achieved their Europe 2020 target of getting at least 75% of people aged 20 to 64 into work.

Other countries that achieved rates above 75% include: the UK (76.2%), the Netherlands (76.1%), and Denmark (76.1%).

Hungary, Portugal, Croatia and Lithuania achieved the strongest growth year-on-year, at 66.7% (63%:2013), 67.6% (65.4%:2013), 59.2% (57.2%:2013), and 71.8% (69.9%:2013) respectively.

Countries with the most troubled labour markets also saw employment rates rise, with growth observed in Greece, Spain and Italy.

According to the figures, the labour force in the EU reached 242.3 million in 2014, an increase of 0.8 million on 2013.

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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