Job vacancy statistics
- Data extracted in March 2017. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database. Planned article update: June 2017
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.
Main statistical findings
The job vacancy rate in the euro area (EA-19) was 1.7 % in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from 1.6 % recorded in both the previous quarter and the fourth quarter of 2015. The job vacancy rate in the EU-28 was 1.8 % in the fourth quarter of 2016, stable compared with the previous quarter and up from 1.7 % in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Figure 2 shows that in the fourth quarter of 2016, the Czech Republic (3.0 %), Belgium (2.9 %), Germany (2.6 %), Malta and the United Kingdom (both 2.5 %) had the highest job vacancy rates while Greece (0.3 %), Cyprus (0.6 %), Spain, Poland and Portugal (all 0.7 %) and Bulgaria (0.8 %) had the lowest.
Compared with a year ago (see Table 1), the job vacancy rate in the fourth quarter of 2016 rose in twenty-three Member States, remained stable in four and fell in Cyprus (-0.1 percentage points). The largest increases were registered in Belgium and Croatia (both +0.7 pp), the Czech Republic (+0.6 pp), Latvia and Slovenia (both +0.5 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.
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 March 2017, there were almost 2.4 million vacant posts advertised in EURES.
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.
- Job vacancy and unemployment rates - Beveridge curve
- Employment statistics
- Job vacancy trends
- Unemployment statistics
Further Eurostat information
- Job vacancies, see:
- Job vacancies in number and % - NACE Rev. 2, B-S), quarterly data (tps00172)
- Job vacancies, see:
- 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. 2 (from 2008 onwards) (jvs_a_nace2)
- 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)
- Job vacancies
Methodology / Metadata
- 1st and 2nd International Workshops on Methodologies for Job Vacancy Statistics in Nuremberg (2008) and Neuchâtel (2009) - Proceedings
- Job vacancy statistics (ESMS metadata file — jvs_esms)
- The European Union labour force survey
Source data for tables and figures on this page (MS Excel)
- 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
- Denmark, France, Italy and Malta: data are not strictly comparable. In France and Italy, only business units with 10 employees or more are surveyed. Moreover, in the case of public administration, education and human health (NACE Rev. 2 sections O, P and Q), public institutions are not covered. In Malta, only units with 10 employees or more are surveyed. In Denmark, only units within the business economy (NACE Rev 2 sections B to N) are surveyed.