Job vacancy statistics (jvs)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union


Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

Eurostat and National Quality Reports according to ESQRS (ESS Standard for Quality Reports Structure)
National metadata



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1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

F3: Labour market

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 13/07/2017
2.2. Metadata last posted 13/07/2017
2.3. Metadata last update 13/07/2017


3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Job vacancy statistics (JVS) provide information on the level and structure of labour demand. Eurostat publishes quarterly data on the number of job vacancies and the number of occupied posts which are collected under the JVS framework regulation and the two implementing regulations: the implementing regulation on the definition of a job vacancy, the reference dates for data collection, data transmission specifications and feasibility studies, as well as the implementing regulation on seasonal adjustment procedures and quality reports. Eurostat disseminates also the job vacancy rate which is calculated on the basis of the data provided by the countries.

Eurostat publishes also the annual data which are calculated on the basis of the quarterly data.

3.2. Classification system

The quarterly data are broken down by economic activity (at section level), in accordance with NACE rev. 2 (Statistical classification of economic activities in the European Community)

In addition, Eurostat publishes for some countries the quarterly data broken down by:

  • occupation, in accordance with ISCO (International standard classification of occupations)
  • region, in accordance with NUTS (Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics)

which are delivered by the countries on voluntarily basis.

The above mentioned classifications are available in RAMON.

3.3. Coverage - sector

The data cover all economic activities defined by NACE rev 2 the common classification system for economic activities, except for the activities of households as employers and the activities of extraterritorial organisations and bodies. Covering agriculture, forestry and fishing activities is optional. Denmark provides data only for NACE sections B-N.  In France and Italy, in the case of public administration, education and human health (NACE Rev. 2 sections O, P and Q), public institutions are not covered. More information can be found in the quality reports of the countries.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

A 'job vacancy' is defined as a paid post that is newly created, unoccupied, or about to become vacant:

(a) for which the employer is taking active steps and is prepared to take further steps to find a suitable candidate from outside the enterprise concerned; and

(b) which the employer intends to fill either immediately or within a specific period of time.

‘Active steps to find a suitable candidate’ include:

- notifying the job vacancy to the public employment services,

- contacting a private employment agency/head hunters,

- advertising the vacancy in the media (for example internet, newspapers, magazines),

- advertising the vacancy on a public notice board,

- approaching, interviewing or selecting possible candidates/potential recruits directly,

- approaching employees and/or personal contacts,

- using internships.

'Specific period of time’ refers to the maximum time the vacancy is open and intended to be filled. That period shall be unlimited; all vacancies for which active steps are continuing on the reference date shall be reported.

An 'occupied post’ means a paid post within the organisation to which an employee has been assigned.

The job vacancy rate (JVR) is the number of job vacancies expresses as a percentage of the sum of the number of occupied posts and the number of job vacancies:

JVR = number of job vacancies / (number of occupied posts + number of job vacancies) x100

The job vacancy rate quarter on quarter change is measured as the current quarter job vacancy rate minus the rate for the previous quarter. It is expressed in percentage points.

The job vacancy rate year on year change is measured as the current quarter job vacancy rate minus the rate for the same quarter in the previous year. It is expressed in percentage points.

3.5. Statistical unit

The basic statistical unit for the data collection is the enterprise or local unit. However the majority of participating national statistical offices collect the vacancy data from enterprises. More information can be found in the quality reports of the countries.

3.6. Statistical population

In general, the data cover all enterprises with one or more employees. 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. In Hungary, only the results for establishments with five or more employees are available. In Ireland, the results refer to establishments with 3 or more employees. However, the data of Hungary and Ireland are published as for enterprises with one or more employees.

3.7. Reference area

The European Union and the euro area, EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

3.8. Coverage - Time

For the countries, time series, in general, are available from 2009.  For some countries time series are longer and start before 2009. For the European Union and the euro area, data are from the first quarter of 2006 onwards.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable


4. Unit of measure Top

Job vacancies and occupied posts measure number of posts. The job vacancy rate (JVR) measures the proportion of total posts that are vacant, according to the definition of job vacancy above, expressed as a percentage as follows:

JVR = number of job vacancies / (number of occupied posts + number of job vacancies).

The quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year changes are expressed in percentage points.


5. Reference Period Top

Data on job vacancies and occupied posts represent the stock of vacant and occupied posts at a given reference date or averaged across a given reference period. There is currently no internationally agreed rule for the time of recording of job vacancy statistics. Depending on countries, the time of recording for quarterly job vacancy statistics may be one specific day in the quarter (e.g. the 15th of the middle month, the last calendar or working day of the quarter) or a three month average. More information can be found in the quality reports of the countries.


6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Job vacancy statistics (JVS) are collected under the JVS framework regulation  (Regulation (EC) No 453/2008) and the two implementing regulations: the implementing regulation on the definition of a job vacancy, the reference dates for data collection, data transmission specifications and feasibility studies (Regulation (EC) No 19/2009), as well as the implementing regulation on seasonal adjustment procedures and quality reports  (Regulation (EC) No 1062/2008).

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not applicable.


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

At the request of some countries, certain data are not published at national level. These data are only used for the calculation of EU-level statistics.


8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

The releases of Job Vacancy Statistics data are provided in the Release Calendar for Euro Indicators.

8.2. Release calendar access

The Release Calendar for Euro Indicators is available here.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.


9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Member States whose number of employees represents more than 3 percent of the European Community total transmit the aggregate number of vacancies and occupied posts within 45 days after the end of the reference quarter. Eurostat publish JVS flash for the EU around 5 days after the deadline for the data transmission.

Within 70 days after the end of the reference quarter, Member States transmit data broken down by economic activity. Eurostat publishes a news release around 8 days after the deadline for the data transmission.


10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

News releases

Statistics Explained

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

1st and 2nd International Workshops on Methodologies for Job Vacancy Statistics - Proceedings

Europe in figures 

Labour market statistics - 2011 edition 

Statistics Explained quarterly

Statistics Explained annual (yearbook page)

Job vacancy and unemployment rates - Bevridge curve

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult data on-line or refer to contact details.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Microdata are not provided by the countries.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The methodology is provided in the JVS framework regulation  (Regulation (EC) No 453/2008) and the two implementing regulations: the implementing regulation on the definition of a job vacancy, the reference dates for data collection, data transmission specifications and feasibility studies (Regulation (EC) No 19/2009), as well as the implementing regulation on seasonal adjustment procedures and quality reports  (Regulation (EC) No 1062/2008).

10.7. Quality management - documentation

The quality reports of the countries are avaible online (see links to the quality reports above). 


11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

On arrival at Eurostat, data from the countries are checked for completeness and consistency. 

11.2. Quality management - assessment

Apart from a general check for completeness, JVS data are compared to other statistics, primarly LFS, to check for consistency in developments over time.


12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Quarterly data on job vacancies are used by the European Commission (the Directorate‑General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs) and the European Central Bank to monitor short-term developments in the business cycle and the labour market. The job vacancy rate is one of the Principal European Economic Indicators (PEEIs) which are the primary source of information for analysing and monitoring short-term cyclical economic developments within the European Union, the euro area and the Member States.

JVS data are also used for indicator-based structural analyses conducted in the context of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. One JVS-based indicator has been included in the Joint Assessment Framework (JAF), the scoreboard for monitoring progress with the employment-related aspect of the Europe 2020 strategy. The JVS-based indicator is also included in the Employment Performance Monitor, a selection of key challenges in the labour market that are based on JAF variables.

The JVS would be far more relevant if the existing gaps in the coverage of NACE sections O to S and small businesses were filled.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Eurostat does not carry out satisfaction survey targeted at users of Job Vacancy Statistics. Incomplete coverage is still the main reason why JVS data are not used more widely. It is vital for all Member States to fully cover the public sector and small businesses in their quarterly estimates. Improved coverage would also enable the number of vacancies for the European aggregates to be published.

12.3. Completeness

Since 2010, 24 out 28 EU member states deliver full JVS. France, Italy, Denmark and Malta still provide incomplete data, therefore EU aggregates are only avaiable for rates.


13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

As an indication of accuracy, the countries calculate the coefficients of variation in the number of job vacancies (not seasonally adjusted), taking into account the characteristics of their national sample design. The coefficient of variation expresses the standard error as a percentage of the quantity being estimated. It provides a measure of the variability of the estimated number of job vacancies. The sample size and response rate significantly affect the accuracy of estimates. The detailed information can be found in point 13.2. More recent information can be found the quality reports of the countries.

13.2. Sampling error

The coefficient of variation expresses the standard error as a percentage of the quantity being estimated. It provides a measure of the variability of the estimated number of job vacancies. According to the information provided in the quality reports for the reference year, 2014, the coefficients of variation for the total number of job vacancies were below ten per cent in most Member States except Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Ireland, Latvia and Spain (at least for one of the four quarterly surveys conducted). 

 

Country Coefficients of variations of the surveys for reference quarters Max value
2014Q1 2014Q2 2014Q3 2014Q4
Belgium 12.2 0.9 0.9 0.7 12.2
Bulgaria 11.3 10.0 9.7 8.3 11.3
Czech Republic (*) NA NA NA NA NA
Denmark 4.6 4.1 3.9 3.8 4.6
Germany 7.0 7.0 5.0 4.0 7.0
Estonia 3.7 3.2 2.5 3.4 3.7
Ireland 8.8 9.1 6.6 13.3 13.3
Greece (**) - - - - -
Spain 10.7 7.5 8.5 7.8 10.7
France 27.1 30.5 23.5 21.4 30.5
Croatia 3.6 3.6 3.6 3.7 3.7
Italy 6.0 5.9 6.0 4.4 6.0
Cyprus 19.6 13.6 41.0 19.4 41.0
Latvia 14.7 6.9 7.3 10.0 14.7
Lithuania 2.4 2.1 2.3 2.4 2.4
Luxembourg (*) NA NA NA NA NA
Hungary 1.7 2.0 2.3 2.8 2.8
Malta 4.2 4.8 2.9 3.0 4.8
Netherlands 3.4 3.4 3.2 3.4 3.4
Austria 4.9 6.9 6.0 6.1 6.9
Poland (***) 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0
Portugal 5.0 6.2 6.7 5.7 6.7
Romania 6.2 5.9 5.8 5.7 6.2
Slovenia (****) 5.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 6.0
Slovakia 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.7
Finland 17.8 13.1 11.1 10.8 17.8
Sweden 2.8 3.2 3.2 2.5 3.2
United Kingdom (**) - - - - -

(*) Not applicable; no surevey conducted and administrative data used

(**) Not available for 2014

(***) Average for 2014

(****) Information for 2015

 

 

The sample size and response rate significantly affect the accuracy of estimates.

 

Country Sample size of the surveys for reference quarters Smallest size Largest size
2014Q1 2014Q2 2014Q3 2014Q4
Belgium 10334 10400 10473 10550 10334 10550
Bulgaria 18090 18060 18015 18147 18015 18147
Czech Republic (*) NA NA NA NA NA NA
Denmark 7006 7010 7012 7011 7006 7012
Germany 14019 14019 14019 75073 14019 75073
Estonia 12267 12267 12267 12267 12267 12267
Ireland 6630 6399 6423 6515 6399 6630
Greece - - - - - -
Spain 27480 27450 27434 27408 27408 27480
France 33774 33526 33392 34190 33392 34190
Croatia 3996 3996 3996 3996 3996 3996
Italy 17178 17178 17178 17178 17178 17178
Cyprus 2710 2965 2953 2902 2710 2965
Latvia 7589 7592 7593 7596 7589 7596
Lithuania 7186 7186 7186 7186 7186 7186
Luxembourg (*) NA NA NA NA NA NA
Hungary 14181 14162 14175 14177 14162 14181
Malta 1326 1310 1296 1272 1272 1326
Netherlands 20214 20031 20013 19871 19871 20214
Austria 6093 6121 6139 6139 6093 6139
Poland 99985 98811 97968 97206 97206 99985
Portugal 11380 11376 11376 11380 11376 11380
Romania 22586 22605 22617 22630 22586 22630
Slovenia 8439 8439 8439 8439 8439 8439
Slovakia 42440 42816 42921 43161 42440 43161
Finland 2500 2500 2500 2500 2500 2500
Sweden 17357 17354 17354 17353 17353 17357
United Kingdom 15600 15600 15600 15600 15600 15600

(*) Not applicable; no surevey conducted and administrative data used

(**) Not available for 2014

(***) Information for 2015

 

 

Country Response rates of the surveys for reference quarters Lowest rate Highest rate
2014Q1 2014Q2 2014Q3 2014Q4
Belgium 69 67 67 66 66 69
Bulgaria 96 96 96 96 96 96
Czech Republic (*) NA NA NA NA NA NA
Denmark 97 97 98 98 97 98
Germany 64 64 64 17 17 64
Estonia 76 77 80 80 76 80
Ireland 62 62 61 61 61 62
Greece (**) - - - - - -
Spain 96 95 96 96 95 96
France 78 78 73 75 73 78
Croatia 42 44 44 44 42 44
Italy 73 73 73 78 73 78
Cyprus 93 99 98 97 93 99
Latvia 95 93 93 90 90 95
Lithuania 98 97 97 96 96 98
Luxembourg (*) NA NA NA NA NA NA
Hungary 92 93 93 90 90 93
Malta 78 76 83 88 76 88
Netherlands 91 89 94 90 89 94
Austria 86 86 82 83 82 86
Poland 63 62 62 61 61 63
Portugal 65 69 69 69 65 69
Romania 92 92 92 91 91 92
Slovenia (***) 89 91 93 93 89 93
Slovakia 75 79 80 79 75 80
Finland 81 77 78 78 77 81
Sweden 89 87 89 88 87 89
United Kingdom 88 86 87 86 86 88

(*) Not applicable; no surevey conducted and administrative data used

(**) Not available for 2014

(***) Information for 2015

13.3. Non-sampling error

The main non-sampling error leading to a possible bias is the reduced coverage in France, Italy, Denmark and Malta. Due to this only rates are published for aggregates, as the bias in these should be smaller, no evidence on the magnitude exists on an EU level though. A number of countries (Ireland, Latvia, Hungary) have slight undercoverage of the smallest microenterprises.


14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Data are normally released around 50 and 75 days after the reference quarter (see point 9).

14.2. Punctuality

Punctuality is, in general, respected by the countries.


15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

Data are, in general, comarable across the countries. The main issue concerns the reduced coverage for some countries.

15.2. Comparability - over time

Data are, in gneral, comparable over time. There are the following breaks in time series:

  • PORTUGAL: Data before the first quarter of 2010 exclude data for the Autonomous Regions and data for public administration.
  • SPAIN: A new survey was introduced from 2013Q2. Until further notice, no data are available from 2013Q1. Before the first quarter of 2010 the number of vacancies and occupied posts for section "O - Public administration and defence; compulsory social security" have not been transmitted and were not included in aggregated groups (B-S, O-Q).
  • FRANCE: In the fourth quarter of 2010 there was a change in the questionnaire that collects information on job vacancies. This led to a sizeable increase to the number of vacancies compared to past observations.
  • GERMANY: The survey results are corrected for non-responses starting with the fourth quarter of 2010.
  • MALTA: The new methodology is implemented from Q1 2017. The backward data will be revised in 2018. 
  • BELGIUM: A new survey and new methodology were introduced from the first quarter of 2012.
  • ITALY: Break in series after 2009Q4 due to changes in estimation method and survey.
  • SLOVENIA: New methodology from 2013Q1; a new survey was introduced from 2015Q1.
  • FINLAND: New methodology from 2013Q1.
  • LATVIA: New methodology from 2015Q4.
15.3. Coherence - cross domain

The coherence of job vacancies cannot be checked directly as there is no other harmonised source collected at European level that measures unmet demand on the labour market. While in many countries vacancies reported to the public employment services are counted, using these figures to check the coherence of the JVS is problematic, as they suffer from heavy undercoverage and are based on national definitions.

The number of occupied posts, a variable which is part of the denominator for the job vacancy rate, can be compared with information from other sources, in particular the number of employed persons reported in the Labour Force Survey (LFS). Comparisons and subsequent assessments of differences must take account of conceptual and survey-related differences between sources.

The difference between the number of employees reported in the LFS and the number of occupied posts reported in JVS generally fluctuates between approximately -20% and 20%. A very high negative gap (below -40%) measured for Luxembourg can be explained by the significant impact of cross-border work, which creates large discrepancies between the domestic concept of the labour market used in the LFS and the national one (i.e. including posts filled by non-residents) applied in JVS. A positive gap of above 30% was recorded for Hungary and Romania. According to the 2014 quality report provided by Hungary, the gap could be explained by the fact that JVS do not cover firms employing fewer than 5 people, while the LFS overestimates the small sectors (e.g. NACE section B) and the public sector in general. Romania explained that the LFS covers the armed forces and the informal sector, whereas JVS do not include people whose employment contract is temporarily suspended (e.g. those on maternity leave, childcare leave, sickness leave or unpaid leave, or who are absent for other reasons). The detailed information is in the countries' quality reports.

15.4. Coherence - internal

All figures are checked for internal consistency.


16. Cost and Burden Top

Depends a lot on the data source. In countries with stand alone surveys, the burden for a surveyed business unit may be some minutes. If the survey is part of an omnibus in most cases it will be a matter of seconds.


17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

In principle all data are subject to revision. Major causes of revisions are additional data being received and the implementation of new or updated methodologies.

17.2. Data revision - practice

The flash estimates for the aggregated job vacancy rates of the euro area and EU-28, which are published at T+50 days, may be revised at T+78 days, when the final estimates are released. Although the flash data did not cover all the countries, revisions did not go beyond 0.1 p.p. for the euro area and EU-28 aggregates. Moreover, the estimates published at T+78 days for the euro area and EU-28 could require revision by the time of the next release. In practice, it proved unnecessary to revise estimates by more than 0.1 p.p., except in one news release, in which Germany revised its data by a significant amount. Germany's job vacancy rates were revised because of a new extrapolation method used.


18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

EU job vacancy statistics are compiled on the basis of data provided by the participating countries. All the countries, except the Czech Republic and Luxembourg, conduct a survey to estmate the number of job vcancies. The Czech Republic and Luxembourg use administative sources. Data on occupied posts are generally obtained from the same survey as job vacancies. The detailed information is provided in the countries' quality reports.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Quarterly.

18.3. Data collection

Surveys conducted mainly by using postal questionnaires or Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI). Other methods are Telephone data entry, by post, internet, email or fax. Details can be found in the country quality reports. Administative sources are also used.

18.4. Data validation

Data communicated by individual countries are checked for internal consistency and correlation with earlier data. No further adjustments are made.

18.5. Data compilation

The national institutions responsible for compiling job vacancy statistics send aggregated national statistics to Eurostat. These national data are then used to compile the job vacancy rate at the European Union and Euro Area levels. These job vacancy rates are computed by first totalling the number of job vacancies and the number of occupied posts for the countries which have supplied these data. No estimates were made for any country that was not participating in the job vacancy statistics data collection. Because of incomplete EU coverage, the EU totals for the numbers of job vacancies and occupied posts are not yet published.

The EU-level results are based on all business units and all economic activities for which national figures are available. To allow a comparability over time, the EU/EA job vacancy rates for 2009Q1 to Q4 have been calculated by using the available NACE Rev. 2 data (B-S) and for the missing countries, which have not provided NACE Rev. 2 data for 2009, the Total of NACE Rev. 1.1 data was included.

For some countries, information on specific economic activities or establishments is not transmitted.  If national data are only available for a sub-category of all business units, e.g. with 10 or more employees, this sub-category is used in the computation of the job vacancy rate at the EU-level.

If, for a participating country, data for a quarter are missing, Eurostat might undertake some estimations. The estimates of missing data are not published.

18.6. Adjustment

All Member States provide seasonally adjusted (SA) data for both job vacancies and occupied posts. The countries are required to supply SA data for job vacancies and occupied posts at least for individual/aggregated NACE sections B-E, F, G-I, J, K, L, M-N, O-Q, R-S. 

Eurostat publishes also the seasonally adjusted EU aggregates (B-S, B-F, G-N and B-N) for the job vacancy rate. These aggregates are calculated on the basis of the seasonally adjusted EU job vacancies and occupied posts. To obtain seasonally adjusted figures for EU job vacancies and occupied posts the countries' raw data (not seasonally adjusted) are aggregated first and then they are seasonally adjusted.


19. Comment Top

No comment.


Related metadata Top


Annexes Top
Methodology overview