Job vacancy statistics

Data extracted in June 2018.

Planned article update: September 2018.


2.1 % of jobs in euro area and 2.2% of jobs in the EU were vacant in the first quarter of 2018.

4.8 % of jobs in the Czech Republic were vacant in the first quarter of 2018 – the highest value in the EU, followed by Belgium (3.5 %), Germany and Sweden (both 2.9 %).

Quarterly job vacancy rates, 2013-2018

This article gives an overview of recent quarterly and annual job vacancy statistics, notably the job vacancy rate (JVR), in the European Union (EU) , Norway, Switzerland and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

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

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Job vacancies between 2016 and 2018

The job vacancy rate in the euro area (EA-19) was 2.1 % in the first quarter of 2018, up from 2.0 % recorded in the previous quarter and from 1.9 % in the first quarter of 2017. In the EU-28, the job vacancy rate was 2.2 % in the first quarter of 2018, up from 2.0 % recorded in the previous quarter and from 1.9 % in the first quarter of 2017 (see Table 1).

Table 1: Quarterly job vacancy rates, Q1-2017 - Q1-2018
Source: Eurostat (jvs_q_nace2)

Among the EU Member States (see Data sources for information concerning coverage), the highest job vacancy rates in the fourth quarter of 2017 were recorded in the Czech Republic (4.4 %), Belgium (3.4 %), Germany (2.8 %), the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (both 2.6 %), as shown in Figure 3. By contrast, the lowest job vacancy rates were observed in Greece (0.1 %), Spain (0.7 %), Bulgaria, Italy and Portugal (all 0.8 %).

Figure 1: Job vacancy rates, first quarter 2018
Source: Eurostat (jvs_q_nace2)

Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, the job vacancy rate in the first quarter of 2018 rose in sixteen Member States, remained stable in Bulgaria, Denmark, Ireland, Croatia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal and Finland, but fell in Greece (-0.3 percentage points – pp), Estonia (-0.2 pp), Malta and Romania (both -0.1 pp). The largest increases were registered in the Czech Republic (+1.7 pp), Austria (+0.6 pp), Latvia, Hungary, the Netherlands and Slovenia (all +0.5 pp) (see Table 1).

Figure 2 presents information for annual job vacancy rates in 2016 and 2017 and clearly displays a pattern of rising job vacancy rates across the vast majority of EU Member States. Some of the largest increases in rates were recorded among Member States that already had relatively high job vacancy rates, suggesting that the gap in rates between Member States was becoming wider. Aside from Malta (where there is a break in series), Greece was the only Member State to report a reduction in annual rates between 2016 and 2017, while there was no change in Bulgaria, Ireland and Romania.

Figure 2: Job vacancy rates, 2016 and 2017
Source: Eurostat (jvs_a_rate_r2)

Job vacancies between 2008 and 2018

The impact of the global financial and economic crisis on the job vacancy rate is apparent in the information presented in Figures 3 and 4. At the height of the crisis in 2009, the annual EU job vacancy rate fell by 0.3 percentage points (compared with a year before) and it remained unchanged in 2010. Thereafter, the EU-28 job vacancy rate increased by 0.2 points in 2011, remained stable in both 2012 and 2013, before there were consistent signs of strengthening in the labour market, as there were modest annual increases in the job vacancy rate for the period 2014-2017 (up 0.1 or 0.2 points).

The pattern of development for the euro area was quite similar to that recorded for the EU. The job vacancy rate for the euro area fell less strongly than was observed in the EU between 2008 and 2009 (to reach a low of 1.1 %), before increasing in both 2010 and 2011, falling in 2012, remaining stable in 2013 and 2014, before posting identical annual changes to those recorded for the EU-28 during the period 2015-2017 (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Annual change in job vacancy rates, 2009-2017
(percentage points)
Source: Eurostat (jvs_a_rate_r2)

Figure 4 presents the development of quarterly job vacancy rates in the European Union and the euro area between 2008 and 2018.

Figure 4: Quarterly job vacancy rates, 2008-2018
Source: Eurostat (jvs_q_nace2)

Source data for tables and graphs

Data sources

Eurostat publishes quarterly and annual data on the number of job vacancies and the number of occupied posts. This information is collected on a quarterly basis from the national statistical authorities under the Regulation on quarterly statistics on Community job vacancies. The data may be analysed by economic activity at the NACE section level and by size of enterprise, while data are collected on a voluntarily basis by occupation or by region. Annual data for the job vacancy rate are unadjusted information calculated directly from the quarterly data. Some of the data provided by the EU Member States fail to match common criteria and there may be differences in the coverage between countries; as a result, there are currently no EU totals for the actual numbers of job vacancies or occupied posts; work is currently underway to remove these differences in coverage. Note that the data presented for Denmark relates to NACE Sections B to N, rather than the broader aggregate of NACE Sections B to S used for the other Member States. Data for France, Italy and Malta refer to enterprises with 10 or more employees, rather than the broader aggregate of all enterprises that is used for the other Member States. Due to a methodological change there is a break in series for Malta in 2017. The EU-28 and euro area job vacancy rates are calculated on the basis of the information that is available; no estimates are made for missing or incomplete data.


Job vacancy statistics provide information on the level and structure of labour demand. The job vacancy rate may, in part, reflect 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 development 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 focused mainly on trying to improve the labour market by matching supply and demand more closely, 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 June 2018, there were almost 3.0 million vacant posts advertised in EURES. European job days are another EU initiative in this domain, with hundreds of events being organised across Europe. These aim to raise awareness about the opportunities and practicalities of living and working in another European country, encouraging mobility throughout the EU, and putting job candidates in touch with employers who have job vacancies. Such events typically include job fairs, seminars, lectures, workshops and cultural events, all aimed at improving labour mobility.

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Job vacancies in number and % - NACE Rev. 2, B-S), quarterly data (tps00172)
Job vacancy statistics by NACE Rev. 2 activity - quarterly data (from 2001 onwards) (jvs_q_nace2)
Job vacancy statistics by NACE Rev. 2 activity, occupation and NUTS 2 regions - quarterly data (jvs_q_isco_r2)
Job vacancy rate by NACE Rev. 2 activity - annual data (from 2001 onwards) (jvs_a_rate_r2)
Job vacancy statistics - historical data (jvs_h)
Job vacancy statistics by occupation, NUTS 2 regions and NACE Rev. 2 activity - annual data (2008-2015) (jvs_a_nace2)
Job vacancy statistics by occupation, NUTS 2 regions and NACE Rev. 1.1 activity - annual data (2000-2008) (jvs_a_nace1)
Job vacancy statistics by NACE Rev. 1.1 activity - quarterly data (2001Q1-2009Q4) (jvs_q_nace1)