Labour market information

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Luxembourg - National Level

Short overview of the labour market


Luxembourg had 626.108 inhabitants on January 1, 2020, including 296.465 foreigners. Among the latter, the most numerous are the Portuguese (95.057), the French (47.805), the Italians (22.996) and the Belgians (19.823). There are 48.587  foreign nationals from non-EU countries in Luxembourg.

As of March 31, 2020, the employment situation was as follows:

  • Total domestic employment: 474.294 including 205.031 cross-border workers (43,23 %);
  • Employees in the private sector: 413.565 including 198.121 cross-border workers;
  • Civil servants: 32.906 including 1711cross-border workers;
  • Self-employed: 27.823 , including 5.199 cross-border workers. 

The growth rate of total employment is 1,6 % over the past 12 months. For cross-border employment, it rises to 4.1% 1,6 % (Source: IGSS / CCSS employment dashboard).

As of June 30, 2020, the unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) was up to 7,0 %, which is % an increase of 32,42% above the rate of December 2019.

The slowdown in employment growth that started mid-2008 continued in 2009, a year in which employment stagnated. In 2010, we saw a recovery that varied from quarter to quarter and, as of December 31, 2010, a year-on-year growth of 2.9%. Measured in December of each year, the year-on-year total employment growth was 3.3% in 2011, 2.1% in 2012, 1.7% in 2013, 2.4% in 2014, 2.7% in 2015, 3.5% in 2016 and 3.7% in 2017. In October 2018, year-on-year growth in total employment was 3.7%. As of September 30, 2019, salaried employment has increased by 3.3% over the last 12 months.  (Source: IGSS / CCSS employment dashboard). 

On June 30, 2020, employment has only risen 1,6 % over the last 12 months.

The lockdown measures in Luxembourg had a negative impact on economic activity from March onwards. As elsewhere, employment and unemployment were heavily and rapidly affected, despite unprecedented support measures.

The unemployment rate jumped from 5.5% in February to 7.0 % in June The sharp rise in the number of job seekers in March (12% over one month) is linked to the shutdown of building sites and the detrimental consequences  on temporary employees, who are not entitled to avail of short-time work schemes.

Part of the increase could be due to the exceptional extension of unemployment benefit entitlements.

In April, unemployment continued to grow (+14% over one month), mostly due to a drop in the numbers finding work.

According to first estimates, in the Grand Duchy paid employment fell 1,5% over one month in March (which is unprecedented), down from 0.2% in February. The first provisional figures for April indicate a drop, albeit less than in March.

In Luxembourg, the extent of the crisis is evident – one third of employees were in short-time work schemes in March and April, whereas in the great Recession of 2009 only 3.4% were affected.

Few figures are yet available on the share of workers on leave for family reasons (initial estimates put this at 6.5% of employment).

According to forecasts, without these two flagship measures, there would have been 15000 fewer people in domestic employment over 2020 as a whole as a result of this crisis which has hit companies with full force.

The government measures will not be able to absorb the shock in full and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic will only emerge gradually.

In Luxembourg, job retention measures will probably see employment grow slightly in 2020 and 2021 (+0.6% and +1.0% respectively, against 3.6% in 2019). Loss of momentum will also affect financial activities, which to date have been relatively spared by the crisis. Only employment in non- commercial activities is set to rise (+4% in 2020). However, this increase is based on recruitment forecasts connected to a state budget agreed before the crisis.

The rise in the number of job seekers will be significant this year (+29%) and will continue in 2021 (+10%), illustrating a certain hysteresis in unemployment due to knock-on effects generated by this major economic crisis.

Regarding job vacancies declared at the national PES, we are observing a decline of roughly 43% if you compare it to the situation in April 2019.

As of January 1, 2019, the largest employers (excluding public employment - state and city of Luxembourg) were in descending order: 1. The Post Luxembourg Group (4650employees), 2. The CFL group (Luxembourg railways: 4510), 3. The Cactus group (Trade: 4420), 4. The Dussmann Luxembourg group (Cleaning activities: 4280), 5. The Mittal-Arcelor group (Iron and steel industry: 3900), 6. BGL BNP Paribas (Monetary intermediation 3830),) 7. Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations SA, Manufacture of rubber products (3450).

An up-to-date list of the main employers is available on the website of the National Institute of Statistics an Economic Studies of Luxembourg STATEC: 

The employment conditions are attractive and companies can therefore demand relatively high levels of qualification.


Text last edited on: 09/2020

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