COVID-19 strongly impacted young people’s employment (Eurostat)
In terms of employment, young people have been more strongly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic than older people. The employment rate in the EU among young people (aged 15-29) in the third quarter of 2020 was -2.8 percentage points (pp) compared with the pre-pandemic third quarter of 2019. However, the third quarter of 2021 saw a recovery, as the employment rate was -0.1 pp compared with the third quarter of 2019.
Comparing the third quarter of 2020 with the third quarter of 2019, all countries recorded a drop in their employment rate of young people. The largest decreases in the share of employed people aged 15-29 even exceeded 5 pp in Lithuania, Portugal, Ireland and Spain. On the other hand, Hungary, Finland, France, Austria and Romania reported decreases smaller than 2 p.p.
Far from full recovery
In the third quarter of 2021, a majority of the EU Member States (16 out of 27) did not show full recovery yet, as the employment rate for young people was still below the rate recorded in the third quarter of 2019. The largest decreases were recorded in Portugal, Bulgaria, Latvia, Czechia and Poland (all at least -3 pp in Q3 2021 compared with Q3 2019).
In contrast, the largest increases in the share of employed people aged 15-29 in the third quarter of 2021 compared with the pre-COVID situation were made in Ireland, France and Slovenia (all at least +2 pp in Q3 2021 compared with Q3 2019).
This data is being highlighted on the occasion of 2022 being the European Year of Youth.