14 Sep
key figures on europe 2021 european union

The 2021 edition of “Key figures on Europe” reflects the effects of Covid19

The 2021 edition of “Key figures on Europe” is already published. This publication provides an overview of the current situation and recent developments across the EU.

The publication offers insights regarding people and society, the economy and business, and the environment and natural resources.

This is the first edition to show data on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis during 2020. Some of the indicators in this publication that reflect the effects of the pandemic include employment, household consumption and air transportation.

Related to the pre-pandemic year of 2019, you can find, for example, information on municipal waste generation per inhabitant in your country, and how energy consumption is shifting towards renewables and biofuels.

Labour market

The COVID-19 crisis impacted heavily on labour markets in the EU Member States, softened to some extent by efforts of national governments to support businesses and employment.

While the population aged 15-74 years in the EU hardly changed between 2019 and 2020, the size of the labour force contracted by 0.9 % and the number of people outside the labour force expanded by 2.0 %.

Within the labour force, the number of persons in employment fell by 1.3 %, while the number of
unemployed persons increased by 4.3 %. Among employees, large falls were observed for the number
of part-time workers (down 2.7 %) and temporary employees (down 11.2 %).

Employment rate

The EU employment rate — which measures the share of the population aged 20-64 years who were in work — stood at 72.3 % in 2020.

There were three EU Member State where at least 80.0 % of adults aged 20-64 years were in employment in 2020 — Sweden (80.8 %), the Netherlands and Germany (both 80.0 %).

At the other end of the range, less than 70.0 % of this age group were in employment in Croatia (66.9 %), Spain (65.7 %), Italy (62.6 %) and Greece (61.1 %).

Between 2019 and 2020, the employment rate in the EU fell by 0.8 percentage points, largely due to the COVID-19 crisis. This was the first fall observed since the low reached in 2013 following on from the global financial and economic crisis and the subsequent sovereign debt crisis. Malta, Poland and Croatia were the only EU Member States that did not record a fall in their employment rate in 2020.

The largest decline, down 2.3 percentage points, was observed in Spain.

By: Estela Martín

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