19 Jan
eurostat labour market covid19

Covid-19: Selected labour market indicators in Q3 2020 in European Union (Eurostat)

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic strongly affected social life, the economy and the labour market in 2020.

To prevent the spread of the virus, a range of social distancing measures were implemented by governments across the EU, including temporarily shutting down many businesses and confining people to their homes.

Slow-Down in businesses

The resulting slow-down in business activities resulted in, among others, redundancies and furloughing, reduced working hours and suspended hiring.

In the EU, usual seasonal peaks in absences from work due to holiday seasons were recorded in early January and mid-August 2020.

However, exceptionally many absences were recorded throughout weeks 11 to 24 (roughly corresponding to the second quarter of 2020), during the ‘first wave’ of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The peak was recorded in week 15 (in April 2020), with 47.5 million absences. This was 33.6 million more than the average recorded during this calendar week in the past five years.

From the first quarter of 2006 to the third quarter of 2020, recent job starters consistently outnumbered recent job leavers in the EU.

The only exception was during the second quarter of 2020 (Q2 2020), during the ‘first wave’ of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this quarter, the number of recent job leavers peaked at 6.3 million, while the number of job starters fell to 4.8 million.

In the third quarter of 2020 (Q3 2020), the number of recent job starters again rose above that of job leavers. The number of recent job leavers fell to a historic low of 3.9 million.

At the same time, the number of recent job starters rebounded to 6.6 million. This was substantially higher than in the second quarter of 2020, but still below the levels recorded in the period from Q4 2013 to Q1 2020.

The number of newly employed in Q3 2020 was close to the levels recorded during the financial recession in the late 2000s.

By: Estela Martín

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