Statistics Explained

Job vacancy statistics


Data extracted in September 2022.

Planned article update: 15 December 2022

Highlights

3.0 % of jobs in the EU and 3.2 % of jobs in the euro area were vacant in the second quarter of 2022.

5.1 % of jobs in the Netherlands were vacant in the second quarter of 2022, the highest value in the EU, followed by Belgium (5.0 %), Czechia (4.9 %) and Austria (4.8 %).

[[File:Job vacancy statistics-Q2-2022- dynamic.xlsx]]

Quarterly job vacancy rates, not seasonally adjusted, 2013-2022 (Q2-2022)

This article gives an overview of recent quarterly and annual job vacancy statistics, notably the job vacancy rate (JVR), in the European Union (EU) , Iceland, 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.


Full article

Job vacancies between 2019 and 2022

The job vacancy rate (not seasonally adjusted) in the euro area (EA-19) was 3.2 % in the second quarter of 2022, up from 3.1 % in the previous quarter and 2.3 % in the second quarter of 2021. In the EU, the job vacancy rate was 3.0 % in the second quarter of 2022, up from 2.9 % in the previous quarter and 2.2 % in the second quarter of 2021 as shown in Table 1 and Figure 4.

Table 1: Quarterly job vacancy rates not seasonally adjusted, Q2-2022 - Q2-2022
Source: Eurostat (jvs_q_nace2)

Among the EU Member States (see Data sources for information concerning coverage), the highest job vacancy rates in the second quarter of 2022 were recorded in the Netherlands (5.1 %), Belgium (5.0 %), Czechia (4.9 %) and Austria (4.8 %) as shown in Figure 1. In contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Bulgaria, Spain and Romania (0.9 % in all of them) followed by Slovakia (1.0 %).

Figure 1: Job vacancy rates not seasonally adjusted, second quarter 2022
(%)
Source: Eurostat (jvs_q_nace2)

Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, the job vacancy rate increased in 24 Member States and remained stable in Czechia, Croatia and Poland. The largest increases were observed in Germany (+1.6 pp), Austria (+1.4 pp) and the Netherlands (+1.3 pp).

Figure 2 presents information for annual job vacancy rates in 2019, 2020 and 2021 and displays a pattern of decreasing job vacancy rates across all EU Member States in 2020 and a marked recovery in 2021. In most Member States, the annual job vacancy rate was higher in 2021 than the pre-pandemic level of 2019.

Figure 2: Annual job vacancy rates, 2019, 2020 and 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (jvs_a_rate_r2)

Job vacancies between 2009 and 2022

In the EU, the Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on the job vacancy rate recorded in 2020 similar to the economic recession in 2009 (see Figure 3) but with a quicker recovery. At the height of the crisis in 2009, the EU job vacancy rate fell by 0.3 percentage points compared with the year before, remained unchanged in 2010 before increasing by 0.3 points in 2011 which offset the impact of the big recession. By comparison, there was a decrease of 0.4 points in 2020 due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic with a subsequent recovery of 0.5 points in 2021.

In the euro area, the Covid-19 pandemic had a more pronounced impact on the job vacancy rate recorded in 2020 than the economic recession in 2009, with a quick recovery in both cases. In 2009, the job vacancy rate of the euro area slightly decreased compared with the year before (by 0.1 points against 0.3 points for the EU) and increased back to its initial level in 2010 already. In 2020, the job vacancy rate fell by 0.4 points (as was the case in the EU) with a recovery of 0.6 points in 2021.

Figure 3: Annual change in job vacancy rates, 2009-2021
(percentage points)
Source: Eurostat (jvs_a_rate_r2)

Figure 4 presents the development of the not seasonally adjusted quarterly job vacancy rates in the EU and the euro area between 2011 and 2022, whereas Figure 5 shows the corresponding seasonally adjusted values.

Figure 4: Quarterly job vacancy rates, not seasonally adjusted, 2011-2022 (Q2-2022)
(%)
Source: Eurostat (jvs_q_nace2)


Figure 5: Quarterly job vacancy rates, seasonally adjusted, 2011-2022 (Q2-2022)
(%)
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 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.

Context

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;
  • 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 31 European countries (27 EU Member States, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). In March 2022, there were almost nearly 4.0 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)