Job vacancy statistics

Data extracted in March 2016. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database. Planned article update in June 2016

This article gives an overview of recent job vacancy statistics in the European Union (EU), notably the job vacancy rate (JVR). Job vacancy trends over the last decade are analysed in another article. The News Release with quarterly data on the job vacancy rate is available here.

EU policies in the area of job vacancies aim to improve the functioning of the labour market by trying to more closely match supply and demand. In order to enable job seekers to consult all vacancies publicised in each of the Member State's employment services, the European jobs and mobility portal EURES was set up.

Figure 1: Job vacancy rate, NACE Rev.2 sections B to S
Source: Eurostat (jvs_q_nace2)

Main statistical findings

Figure 2: Job vacancy rate by country, NACE Rev.2 sections B to S, fourth quarter of 2015
Source: Eurostat (jvs_q_nace2)
Table 1: Job vacancy rates (%) and change compared with the same quarter of the previous year (p.p.)
Source: Eurostat (jvs_q_nace2)

The job vacancy rate in the euro area (EA-19) was 1.6 % in the fourth quarter of 2015, up from 1.5 % in the previous quarter and the fourth quarter of 2014. The job vacancy rate in the EU-28 was 1.7 % in the fourth quarter of 2015, up from 1.6 % in the previous quarter and the fourth quarter of 2014.

Figure 2 shows that in the fourth quarter of 2015, Germany and the United Kingdom (both 2.6 %), the Czech Republic (2.4 %) and Belgium (2.2 %) had the highest job vacancy rates while Italy[1], Poland (both 0.5 %), Spain and Portugal (both 0.6 %) had the lowest.

Among the Member States for which data for the fourth quarter of 2015 are published, the job vacancy rate rose in twenty one, remained stable in four and fell in two compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. The largest increases were registered in the Czech Republic (+0.8 percentage points) and Latvia (+0.7 pp). The only decreases were recorded in Malta (-0.4 pp) and Estonia (-0.1 pp).

Data sources and availability

Quarterly data on job vacancies and occupied posts may be presented broken down by economic activity and enterprise size. The national statistical authorities responsible for compiling job vacancy statistics send these statistics to Eurostat. Their data are used to compile the job vacancy rate for the EU and the euro area.

Some of the data provided by the Member States fails to match common criteria and there may be differences in the coverage of the data between countries; as a result, there are currently no EU-28 totals for the actual numbers of job vacancies or occupied posts. The EU-28 and euro area job vacancy rates are calculated on the basis of the information that is available. It is therefore not possible, at present, to present EU-28 or euro area job vacancy rates broken down by economic activity or size of enterprise.

Context

The job vacancy rate, in part, reflects the unmet demand for labour, as well as potential mismatches between the skills and availability of those who are unemployed and those sought by employers. Job vacancy statistics are used by the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) to analyse and monitor the evolution of the labour market at national and European level. These statistics are also a key indicator used for an assessment of the business cycle and for a structural analysis of the economy.

Policy developments in this area have mainly focused on trying to improve the labour market by more closely matching supply and demand, through:

  • modernising and strengthening labour market institutions, notably employment services;
  • removing obstacles to worker mobility across Europe;
  • better anticipating skill needs, labour market shortages and bottlenecks;
  • managing economic migration;
  • improving the adaptability of workers and enterprises so that there is a greater capacity to anticipate, trigger and absorb economic and social change.

The European jobs and mobility portal (EURES) was set-up with the aim of providing job seekers in the EU with the opportunity to consult all job vacancies publicised in each of the Member State's employment services. The website provides access to a range of job vacancies from 32 European countries (28 EU Member States, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). In December 2015, there were over 1.6 million job vacancies advertised, while more than 200 000 people had posted their CVs on the website.

European job days are another EU initiative in this domain: a wide range of events took place all over Europe in 2015 with the aim of raising awareness about the opportunities and practicalities of living and working in another European country. The events typically include job fairs, seminars, lectures, workshops and cultural events, all aimed at improving labour mobility.

See also

Further Eurostat information

Publications

Main tables

Job vacancies in number and % - NACE Rev. 2, B-S), quarterly data (tps00172)

Database

Job vacancy statistics by occupation and NUTS 2 regions - annual data, NACE Rev. 2 (from 2008 onwards) (jvs_a_nace2)
Job vacancy statistics - quarterly data (from 2001 onwards), NACE Rev. 2 (jvs_q_nace2)
Job vacancy statistics (NACE rev. 1.1) - historical data (jvs_nace1)
Job vacancy statistics by occupation and NUTS 2 regions - annual data, NACE Rev. 1.1 (2000-2008) (jvs_a_nace1)
Job vacancy statistics - quarterly data, NACE Rev. 1.1 (2001Q1-2009Q4) (jvs_q_nace1)

Dedicated section

Job vacancies

Methodology / Metadata

Source data for tables and figures on this page (MS Excel)

External links

  • EURES, the European jobs and mobility portal
  • OECD - Data by theme - Labour - Labour force statistics - Short-term statistics - Registered Unemployed and Job Vacancies (MEI): Job Vacancies

Notes

  1. In Italy, only business units with 10 employees or more are surveyed; in the case of public administration, education and human health (NACE Rev. 2 sections O, P and Q), public institutions are not covered.