Job vacancy statistics
Data extracted in December 2020.
Planned article update: 19 March 2021.
1.7 % of jobs in both the euro area and the EU were vacant in the third quarter of 2020.
5.3 % of jobs in Czechia were vacant in the third quarter of 2020, the highest value in the EU, followed by Belgium (3.3 %).
Quarterly job vacancy rates, not seasonally adjusted, 2013-2020 Q3
This article gives an overview of recent quarterly and annual job vacancy statistics, notably the job vacancy rate (JVR), in the European Union (EU) , the United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland and North 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.
Job vacancies between 2018 and 2020
The job vacancy rate (not seasonally adjusted) in the euro area (EA-19) was 1.7 % in the third quarter of 2020, up from 1.6 % in the previous quarter and down from 2.2 % in the third quarter of 2019. In the EU-27, the job vacancy rate was 1.7 % in the third quarter of 2020, up from 1.6 % in the previous quarter and down from 2.2 % in the third quarter of 2019 as shown in Table 1 and Figure 4.
Among the EU Member States (see Data sources for information concerning coverage), the highest job vacancy rates in the third quarter of 2020 were recorded in Czechia (5.3 %) and Belgium (3.3 %) as shown in Figure 1. By contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Greece (0.5 %) as well as in Poland and Portugal (both 0.7 %).
Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, the job vacancy rate fell in 24 Member States, remained stable in Lithuania and increased in Bulgaria and France (both by 0.1 pp). The largest decreases were recorded in Germany (-1.0 pp), Czechia (-0.9 pp) and Latvia (-0.8 pp).
Figure 2 presents information for annual job vacancy rates in 2018 and 2019 and displays a pattern of rising job vacancy rates across several EU Member States (Czechia, Germany, the Netherlands, Latvia, Austria, Denmark, Cyprus, France and Portugal), while it remains stable or with a very small decrease in others. 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. Hungary, Malta (where there is a break in series), Sweden, Slovenia, Croatia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Poland reported a very small reduction in annual rates between 2018 and 2019, while there was no change in Belgium, Finland, Estonia, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland, Bulgaria, Spain and Greece.
Job vacancies between 2009 and 2020
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-27 job vacancy rate increased by 0.3 points in 2011, decreased by 0.1 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 2014-2019 (up 0.1, 0.2 and even 0.3 points in 2017).
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 similar annual changes to those recorded for the EU-27 during the period 2015-2019 (see Figure 3).
Figure 4 presents the development of the non-seasonally adjusted quarterly job vacancy rates in the EU and the euro area between 2010 and 2020, whereas Figure 5 shows the seasonally adjusted quarterly job vacancy rates between 2010 and 2020.
Source data for tables and graphs
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-27 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 (27 EU Member States, as well as the United Kingdom, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). In September 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.
- 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)
- Job vacancies