Statistics Explained

Migrant integration statistics – labour market indicators


Data extracted: November 2022.

Planned article update: May 2023.

Highlights


In 2021, the EU activity rate of working-age non-EU citizens was 70.0 %, compared with 78.9 % for nationals and 81.5 % for citizens of other EU Member States.

Among persons aged 20–64 years living in the EU in 2021, 59.1 % of non-EU citizens were employed, notably less than for citizens of other EU Member States (74.4 %) and nationals (74.0 %).

The unemployment rate among persons aged 20–64 years living in the EU in 2021 was 6.3 % for nationals, 8.7 % for citizens of other EU Member States and approximately twice as high, 15.5 %, for non-EU citizens.

The youth unemployment rate among persons aged 15–29 years living in the EU in 2021 was 20.0 % for non-EU citizens, 12.7 % for citizens of other EU Member States and 12.6 % for nationals.

Around 40 % of unemployed persons aged 20–64 years living in the EU in 2021 had been unemployed for at least a year: 41.6 % among unemployed nationals, 37.4 % among unemployed citizens of other EU Member States and 39.1 % among unemployed non-EU citizens.

Main labour market indicators, by citizenship, EU, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_argan), (lfsa_ergan), (lfsa_urgan) and (lfsa_upgan)

This article presents European statistics for five labour market indicators: the activity rate, employment rate, unemployment rate, youth unemployment rate and the share of long-term unemployment. These indicators are mainly analysed according to individuals’ citizenship and, to a lesser extent, their country of birth. Information is presented for various groups of foreign citizens or foreign-born persons and compares these with nationals or native-born persons.

This article forms part of an online publication on migrant integration statistics.


Full article

Overview

The labour force survey (EU-LFS) is the source of data for this article. The main focus of this article is the age group 20–64 years. This age group is of particular interest as it is the focus for employment analyses in the Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion 2021–2027. The information for the youth unemployment rate refers to people aged 15–29 years.

Five labour market indicators are presented in this article: activity rate, employment rate, unemployment rate, youth unemployment rate and the share of long-term unemployment.

  • The activity rate is the proportion of people in the labour force (employed or unemployed) as a percentage of the comparable total population.
  • The employment rate is the number of employed persons (someone working as an employee, self-employed or contributing family workers) as a percentage of the comparable total population.
  • The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force.
  • The youth unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons aged 15–29 years as a percentage of the labour force aged 15–29 years.
  • The share of long-term unemployment is the number of long-term unemployed persons (unemployed for at least a year) as a percentage of all unemployed persons.

This overview focuses on an analysis by citizenship of these five indicators for the EU; an additional analysis by country of birth is presented in Figure 4.

The following four sections present information by citizenship for the EU Member States and EFTA countries. Each of these sections focus on one indicator. A separate section with data for the Member States and EFTA countries is not presented for the share of long-term unemployment due to limited data availability.

Figure 1: Main labour market indicators, by citizenship, EU, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_argan), (lfsa_ergan), (lfsa_urgan) and (lfsa_upgan)

Among persons aged 20–64 years living in the EU in 2021, 78.9 % of nationals were part of the labour force, in other words employed or unemployed. This activity rate was notably higher than for non-EU citizens (70.0 %) but slightly less than for citizens of other EU Member States (81.5 %).

Among persons aged 20–64 years living in the EU in 2021, 74.0 % of nationals were employed (employees, self-employed or contributing family workers). Again, the employment rate was notably higher than for non-EU citizens (59.1 %) but slightly less than for citizens of other EU Member States (74.4 %).

The unemployment rate among persons aged 20–64 years living in the EU in 2021 was 6.3 % for nationals; in other words, 6.3 % of persons in the labour force in this age range were unemployed. The rate was slightly higher for citizens of other EU Member States (8.7 %) and approximately twice as high, 15.5 %, for non-EU citizens.

The youth unemployment rate is calculated for persons aged 15–29 years. In 2021, this rate in the EU was 12.6 % for nationals, 12.7 % for citizens of other EU Member States and 20.0 % for non-EU citizens. As such, compared with the unemployment rate for persons aged 20–64 years the youth unemployment rate was 2.0 times as high among nationals, 1.5 times as high among citizens of other EU Member States and 1.3 times as high among non-EU citizens.

Around two fifths of unemployed persons aged 20–64 years living in the EU in 2021 had been unemployed for at least a year. This share was lowest for unemployed citizens of other EU Member States (37.4 %) and highest for unemployed national citizens (41.6 %), with the share for unemployed non-EU citizens (39.1 %) between these two.

Figure 2: Ratio between the labour market indicators of foreign citizens and nationals, EU, 2021
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_argan), (lfsa_ergan), (lfsa_urgan) and (lfsa_upgan)

Figure 2 is based on the same data as Figure 1 but, instead of showing the actual rates, shows for the two foreign citizenship categories the ratio between their rates and the rates for nationals.

In order to see the indicators for which the gap is greatest, values for EU citizens, non-EU citizens have been normalised by dividing them with the values recorded for nationals. The values of the ratio for nationals are equal by construction to 1.

In the EU, activity and employment rates in 2021 for citizens of other EU Member States were quite similar to those for nationals. By contrast, these rates were clearly lower for non-EU citizens; for example, the employment rate for non-EU citizens was about one fifth lower than that for nationals.

Higher unemployment rates were observed in the EU in 2021 for both categories of foreign citizens than for nationals. The value of ratio was particularly high for the category of non-EU citizens, as its rate was 2.5 times as high as the rate for national citizens. For comparison, the unemployment rate for citizens of other EU Member States was 1.4 times as high as that for nationals. For the youth unemployment rate, there was no gap between the rate of citizens of other EU Member States and the rate of nationals while value of ratio for non-EU citizens equalled 1.6.

The share of long-term unemployment differs from the four other indicators in that this share in the EU in 2021 was lower for both categories of foreign citizenship than for nationals.

Figure 3: Change in main labour market indicators, by citizenship, EU, between 2012 to 2021
(percentage points)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_argan), (lfsa_ergan) and (lfsa_urgan)

Between 2012 and 2021, the activity rate increased in the EU for nationals and citizens of other EU Member States but decreased for non-EU citizens – see Figure 3. The increase in this rate was strongest among national citizens (up 3.2 percentage points).

For the employment rate, increases were observed in the EU between 2012 and 2021 for all three categories of citizenship. Again, nationals registered the largest increase (up 5.8 percentage points), while citizens of other EU Member States recorded a bigger increase (up 5.2 percentage points) than non-EU citizens (up 3.1 percentage points).

The developments between 2012 and 2021 were quite different for the two unemployment rates compared with those for the activity and employment rates. For both unemployment rates – persons aged 20–64 and 15–29 years – all three categories of citizenship recorded decreases. However, in percentage points these decreases were smallest for nationals and largest for non-EU citizens.

Figure 4: Difference between the labour market indicators by citizenship and country of birth, EU, 2021
(percentage points)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_argan), (lfsa_argacob), (lfsa_ergan), (lfsa_ergacob), (lfsa_urgan) and (lfsa_urgacob)

Figure 4 compares the analysis by citizenship of these labour market rates in the EU in 2021 with a similar analysis by country of birth. For each indicator, the rates for EU citizens other than nationals are compared with the rates for persons who are EU-born other than in the reporting Member State; equally, the rates for non-EU citizens are compared with the rates for non-EU-born persons.

For the three indicators concerning persons aged 20–64 years – activity, employment and unemployment rates – the rates across the EU were similar for citizens of other EU Member States and persons born in other Member States in 2021. By contrast, for these three indicators the difference between the rates for non-EU citizens and for non-EU-born persons was greater, particularly for the activity and employment rates. For example, the employment rate for non-EU-born persons was 63.4 %, whereas it was 4.3 percentage points lower (59.1 %) for non-EU citizens. Focusing on the difference between the rates for non-EU citizens and for non-EU-born persons, the activity and employment rates were notably lower for non-EU citizens than for non-EU-born persons, while the unemployment rate was notably higher for non-EU citizens.

Concerning the youth unemployment rate in the EU in 2021, there was no difference between the rates for non-EU citizens and non-EU-born persons. The rate of citizens of other EU Member States was 0.3 percentage points lower than the rate observed for persons born in other Member States.

Figure 5: Difference between the labour market indicators for males and females by citizenship, EU, 2021
(percentage points)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_argan), (lfsa_ergan) and (lfsa_urgan)

For both categories of foreign citizenship, Figure 5 shows the difference calculated for males and for females for the four labour market indicators. For each sex, this gap is calculated as the rate for each of the two foreign citizenship categories minus the rate for nationals. These gaps can be compared to identify if the gaps were larger for females or for males or whether the gaps for males and females differed in terms of being positive or negative.

For all four indicators, the difference between the rates controlled by sex in the EU in 2021 was widest for female non-EU citizens. For the activity and employment rates, the gap was narrowest for female citizens of other EU Member States, while for the two unemployment rates it was narrowest for male citizens of other Member States.

  • The activity rate for female non-EU citizens was 16.0 percentage points lower than for female nationals. This gap can be contrasted with a gap of 1.8 percentage points for male non-EU citizens. The activity rate was higher for citizens of other Member States than for nationals for both sexes, but with a narrower difference observed for females than for males.
  • The employment rate for female non-EU citizens was 21.8 percentage points lower than for female nationals. This gap can be contrasted with a gap of 7.9 percentage points for male non-EU citizens. The gaps were narrower for citizens of other Member States than for non-EU citizens but were in opposite directions for the two sexes: for males, the employment rate was higher for citizens of other Member States than for nationals, while for females the reverse was observed.
  • The unemployment rate for female non-EU citizens was 11.7 percentage points higher than for female nationals; for male non-EU citizens this gap was 7.5 percentage points. The gaps were smaller for citizens of other Member States than for non-EU citizens, with the narrowest gap observed for males. A similar situation was observed for the youth unemployment rate as the only difference was that the gap for male citizens of other Member States was negative.
Figure 6: Difference between the labour market indicators for people with a tertiary educational attainment and all people, persons aged 20–64 years, by citizenship and sex, EU, 2021
(percentage points)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_argaedn) and (lfsa_ergaedn)

Figure 6 also shows a gap, but it is a tertiary education gap for the EU in 2021. For the activity and employment rates, it reveals the extent by which the rates are higher for people with a tertiary educational attainment compared with the rates for all people (regardless of educational attainment).

  • Almost regardless of sex and category of citizenship, the tertiary education gap was wider for the employment rate than for the activity rate; the only exception was for female non-EU citizens for which the tertiary education gap was the same for both rates.
  • Females had wider tertiary education gaps than males: this was observed for both indicators and for all three categories of citizenship.
  • The widest tertiary education gaps were observed for nationals, regardless of indicator or sex. The narrowest tertiary education gaps were generally observed for citizens of other EU Member States, regardless of indicator or sex.

Activity rate

The activity rate is the number of people in the labour force as a percentage of the comparable total population.

Among EU Member States, the highest activity rate in 2021 for nationals was in Sweden (88.3 %). This rate was above 75.0 % in the vast majority of EU Member States. Lower rates were observed in Luxembourg, Croatia, Greece, Romania and Italy (where the lowest rate was recorded, 69.0 %).

For citizens of other EU Member States, there was a much greater range between the EU Member States (no data for Bulgaria or Romania) for activity rates in 2021. Rates above 90.0 % were observed in Lithuania (94.2 %; low reliability) and Malta (93.3 %), while the rate was below half in Croatia (46.4 %; low reliability). The range in rates was also broader for non-EU citizens than for national citizens, from 88.1 % in Poland to 54.7 % in Belgium (no data for Slovakia).

In 20 of the 25 EU Member States for which data are available, activity rates in 2021 were higher for citizens of other Member States than for nationals. The largest gap was for Malta, where the rate for citizens of other Member States was 14.0 percentage points higher than for nationals. The five Member States where lower activity rates were recorded for citizens of other Member States than for national citizens were Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Greece and Croatia (low data reliability). Four of these five recorded relatively narrow gaps, the exception being Croatia where the rate for citizens of other Member States was 27.1 percentage points (low data reliability) lower than that for nationals.

In 19 of the 26 EU Member States for which data are available, activity rates in 2021 were lower for non-EU citizens than for nationals. The largest gaps were in the Netherlands, Bulgaria (low data reliability) and Belgium, where the rates for non-EU citizens were 21.2–21.4 percentage points lower than for national citizens. Among the seven Member States where non-EU citizens recorded higher activity rates than nationals, the gaps were relatively narrow in Luxembourg, Romania (low data reliability), Italy, Czechia and Croatia (low data reliability). Wider gaps, with higher activity rates for non-EU citizens, were observed in Malta (5.8 percentage points) and Poland (10.1 percentage points).

Information about the gaps between both categories of foreign citizenship and nationals for the activity rate in 2021 are available for 24 EU Member States.

  • Estonia, the Netherlands, Germany and Greece were the only Member States where the activity rate for nationals was higher than the rates for both categories of foreign citizens.
  • Luxembourg, Italy, Czechia, Malta and Poland (low data reliability) were the only Member States where the activity rate for nationals was lower than the rates for both categories of foreign citizens.
Figure 7: Activity rate, persons aged 20–64 years, by citizenship, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_argan)

Figure 8 shows the gaps between the activity rate of non-EU citizens and nationals in 2021. Positive values show where the activity rate was higher for non-EU citizens and negative rates where the rate was higher for nationals.

As already noted earlier, activity rates in 2021 were higher for non-EU citizens than for nationals in seven of the EU Member States for which data are available. When analysed by sex, this situation was observed in 13 Member States for males but just two for females.

  • For males, the widest gaps with higher activity rates for non-EU citizens were observed for Croatia (19.9 percentage points; low reliability) and Portugal (12.1 percentage points); the widest gap with a lower activity rate for non-EU citizens was observed for the Netherlands (15.2 percentage points).
  • For females, the only gaps with higher activity rates for non-EU citizens were observed for Poland (12.1 percentage points) and Malta (10.0 percentage points); the widest gaps with lower activity rates for non-EU citizens were observed for Belgium (32.2 percentage points) and Germany (30.4 percentage points).

Information about the gaps for the activity rate in 2021 for non-EU citizens for both sexes are available for 24 EU Member States.

  • Malta and Poland were the only Member States with higher activity rates for non-EU citizens for males and for females.
  • Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Cyprus, Latvia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden recorded lower activity rates for non-EU citizens for males and for females.
  • For Member States recording a negative gap for the activity rate for female non-EU citizens, the equivalent gap for males was generally less negative or in fact positive; the only exception was Hungary. By contrast, for the two Member States (Malta and Poland) recording a positive gap for the activity rate for females the equivalent gap for males was smaller.
Figure 8: Difference between activity rates for non-EU citizens and nationals, persons aged 20–64 years, 2021
(percentage points; rate for non-EU citizens minus rate for nationals)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_argan)

Employment rate

The employment rate is the number of employed persons as a percentage of the comparable total population.

As for the activity rate, the highest employment rate in 2021 for nationals was in Sweden (82.8 %). The employment rate was above 70.0 % in the vast majority of EU Member States. Lower rates were observed in Spain, Croatia and Romania, with the lowest rates (both 62.9 %) in Greece and Italy.

For citizens of other EU Member States, there was a much greater range between the EU Member States (no data for Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania or Slovakia) for employment rates in 2021. Rates above 90.0 % were observed in Lithuania (94.2 %) and Malta (91.0 %), while the rate was just above half in Greece (52.4 %). For non-EU citizens, the range in employment rates was also broader than for national citizens, from 83.9 % in Poland to less than half (43.3 %) in Belgium (no data for Slovakia).

In 15 of the 23 EU Member States for which data are available, employment rates in 2021 were higher for citizens of other Member States than for nationals. The largest gaps were for Lithuania and Malta, where the rates for citizens of other Member States were 16.8 and 14.2 percentage points, respectively, higher than for nationals. Note that there was no gap for citizens of other Member States in France, as the employment rate was the same (74.4 %) as for national citizens. The seven Member States where citizens of other Member States recorded lower employment rates than nationals were Greece, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Austria and Sweden. Six of these seven recorded relatively narrow gaps, the exception being Greece where the rate for citizens of other Member States was 10.5 percentage points lower than that for nationals.

In 22 of the 26 EU Member States for which data are available, employment rates in 2021 were lower for non-EU citizens than for nationals; the largest gaps were in Sweden (29.5 percentage points), Belgium (28.6 percentage points), the Netherlands (26.0 percentage points) and Germany (23.2 percentage points). Among the four Member States where non-EU citizens recorded higher employment rates than nationals, the gap was relatively narrow in Czechia but somewhat wider in Malta, Romania (low data reliability) and Poland (4.5, 5.1 and 8.6 percentage points, respectively).

Information about the gaps for the employment rate in 2021 for both categories of foreign citizenship are available for 23 EU Member States.

  • Estonia, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Austria and Sweden were the only Member States where the employment rate for nationals was higher than the rates for both categories of foreign citizens.
  • Czechia, Malta and Poland (low data reliability) were the only Member States where the employment rate for nationals was lower than the rates for both categories of foreign citizens.
Figure 9: Employment rate, persons aged 20–64 years, by citizenship, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_ergan)

Figure 10 shows the gaps for the employment rate in 2021 between non-EU citizens and nationals. Positive values show where the employment rate was higher for non-EU citizens and negative rates where the rate was higher for nationals.

In Czechia, Malta, Poland and Romania (low data reliability), employment rates in 2021 were higher for non-EU citizens than for nationals. When analysed by sex, this situation was observed in 10 Member States for males but just two for females.

  • For males, the widest gap with a higher employment rate for non-EU citizens was observed for Portugal (15.2 percentage points); the widest gaps with lower employment rates for non-EU citizens were observed for Sweden (19.0 percentage points), the Netherlands (18.7 percentage points), Belgium (16.2 percentage points) and Germany (15.0 percentage points).
  • For females, the only gaps with higher employment rates for non-EU citizens were observed for Poland (8.8 percentage points) and Malta (8.3 percentage points); the widest gaps with lower employment rates for non-EU citizens were observed for Sweden (41.4 percentage points) and Belgium (38.9 percentage points).

Information about the gaps for the employment rate in 2021 for non-EU citizens for both sexes are available for 24 EU Member States.

  • Malta and Poland were the only Member States with higher employment rates for non-EU citizens for males and for females.
  • Czechia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal and Slovenia recorded higher employment rates for male non-EU citizens combined with lower employment rates for female non-EU citizens.
  • A majority of Member States (15 out of 24) recorded lower employment rates for non-EU citizens for males and for females.
  • For Member States recording a negative gap for the employment rate for female non-EU citizens, the equivalent gap for males was generally less negative or in fact positive; the only exceptions were Cyprus and Croatia. By contrast, for the two Member States (Malta and Poland) recording a positive gap for the employment rate for females the equivalent gap for males was smaller, as was already noted for the activity rate.
Figure 10: Difference between employment rates for non-EU citizens and nationals, persons aged 20–64 years, 2021
(percentage points; rate for non-EU citizens minus rate for nationals)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_ergan)

Unemployment rate

The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force.

Among EU Member States, the highest unemployment rates in 2021 for nationals were in Greece (14.3 %) and Spain (13.2 %). Elsewhere in the EU, this rate was below 9.0 %. The lowest rates were observed in Germany and Czechia, 2.9 % and 2.8 %, respectively.

For citizens of other EU Member States, there was a much greater range between the EU Member States (data available for 16 Member States) for unemployment rates in 2021. The highest rates were 24.8 % and 18.6 %, again in Greece and Spain, while relatively high rates were recorded in Italy (13.4 %) and Finland (12.3 %). At the other end of the ranking, two Member States recorded rates below 4.0 %: 2.4 % in Malta and 1.8 % in Czechia (both low reliability).

In 2021, the range between the unemployment rates in EU Member States (data available for 21 Member States) was largest for non-EU citizens. The highest rate was 30.7 % in Sweden, 27.0 percentage points above the rate in Czechia (3.7 %).

In 14 of the 16 EU Member States for which data are available, unemployment rates in 2021 were higher for citizens of other Member States than for nationals. The largest gap was for Greece, where the rate for citizens of other Member States was 10.5 percentage points higher than for nationals. The two Member States where citizens of other Member States recorded lower unemployment rates than national citizens were Malta and Czechia (both low reliability), where the gaps were narrow (at most 1.0 percentage points).

In all 21 EU Member States for which data are available, unemployment rates in 2021 were higher for non-EU citizens than for nationals. The largest gaps were in Sweden and Belgium, where the rates for non-EU citizens were, respectively, 24.5 and 15.5 percentage points higher than for nationals. The narrowest gaps were in Czechia, Malta and Ireland, in the range of 0.9–1.7 percentage points.

Information about the gaps for the unemployment rate in 2021 between both categories of foreign citizenship and nationals are available for 16 EU Member States. In most of these Member States, the lowest unemployment rate was observed for nationals and the highest for non-EU citizens.

  • Malta and Czechia were the only Member States where the unemployment rate for nationals was not lower than the rates for both categories of foreign citizens; in these two Member States, the lowest rate was for citizens of other Member States (both low reliability).
  • Greece was the only Member State where the unemployment rate for non-EU citizens was not higher than for national and for citizens of other Member States; in Greece, the highest rate was for citizens of other Member States.
Figure 11: Unemployment rate, persons aged 20–64 years, by citizenship, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_urgan)

Figure 12 shows the gaps for the unemployment rate in 2021 for non-EU citizens. Positive values show when the unemployment rate was higher for non-EU citizens and negative rates when the rate was higher for national.

As already noted earlier, all of the EU Member States for which data are available unemployment rates in 2021 were higher for non-EU citizens than for national. When analysed by sex, this situation was observed in all but one Member State for males and females.

  • For males, the widest gaps with higher unemployment rates for non-EU citizens were observed for Sweden (18.1 percentage points) and Belgium (12.0 percentage points). The only Member State with a lower unemployment rate for male non-EU citizens was Czechia, where the difference was 0.2 percentage points (low data reliability).
  • For females, the widest gaps with higher unemployment rates for non-EU citizens were also observed for Sweden (33.8 percentage points) and Belgium (20.7 percentage points). The only Member State with an unemployment rate for female non-EU citizens that was lower than that for female nationals was Cyprus, again with only a small difference (0.3 percentage points).
  • For the one Member State (Cyprus) recording a negative gap for the unemployment rate for female non-EU citizens, the equivalent gap for males was positive. By contrast, for the much larger number of Member States recording a positive gap for the unemployment rate for female non-EU citizens the equivalent gap for males was smaller; the only exception was Germany.
Figure 12: Difference between unemployment rates for non-EU citizens and nationals, persons aged 20–64 years, 2021
(percentage points; rate for non-EU citizens minus rate for nationals)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_urgan)

Youth unemployment rate

The youth unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons aged 15–29 years as a percentage of the labour force aged 15–29 years.

Among EU Member States, the highest youth unemployment rates in 2021 for nationals were in Greece (28.6 %), Spain (26.4 %) and Italy (21.9 %). This rate was below 20% in the remaining EU Member States. The lowest rate was observed in Malta and Germany (both 5.1 %).

Data for citizens of other EU Member States and for non-EU citizens are only available for a few EU Member States, 12 and 17, respectively. For citizens of other Member States, the range between the Member States’ youth unemployment rates in 2021 was a little narrower than that for nationals, from 3.4 % in Czechia (low data reliability) to 26.6 % in Spain. For non-EU citizens, the range of rates was somewhat narrower again: Slovenia and Malta had the lowest rate (9.8 %) while Sweden had the highest rate (32.7 %).

In nine of the 12 EU Member States for which data are available, youth unemployment rates in 2021 were higher for citizens of other Member States than for nationals. The largest gap was for the Netherlands, where the rate for citizens of other Member States was 7.3 percentage points higher than for nationals. In three Member States, citizens of other Member States recorded lower youth unemployment rates than nationals (Luxembourg, Czechia and Cyprus).

In 16 of the 17 EU Member States for which data are available, youth unemployment rates in 2021 were higher for non-EU citizens than for nationals. The largest gaps were in Sweden, Portugal and Belgium, where the rates for non-EU citizens were more than 10 percentage points higher than for nationals. Only Greece recorded lower youth unemployment rate non-EU citizens than for nationals.

Information about the gaps for the youth unemployment rate in 2021 between both categories of foreign citizenship and nationals are available for 11 EU Member States.

  • Cyprus (low data reliability) and Luxembourg were the only Member States where the youth unemployment rate for national citizens was not lower than the rates for both categories of foreign citizens; in these two Member States, the lowest rate was for citizens of other Member States.
  • Malta (low data reliability) was the only Member State where the youth unemployment rate for non-EU citizens was not higher than for nationals and for citizens of other Member States; in this Member State, the highest youth unemployment rate was for citizens of other Member States.
Figure 13: Youth unemployment rate, persons aged 15–24 years, by citizenship, 2021
(%)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_urgan)

Figure 14 shows the gaps for the youth unemployment rate in 2021 between non-EU citizens and nationals. Positive values show when the youth unemployment rate was higher for non-EU citizens.

In general, youth unemployment rates in 2021 were higher for non-EU citizens than for nationals. When analysed by sex, this situation was observed in 12 out of 13 Member States for which data are available for males and 10 out of 12 Member States for which data are available for females.

  • For males, the largest gap was for Malta (data with low reliability), where the rate for non-EU citizens was 10.5 percentage points higher than for nationals. Only in Greece did male non-EU citizens record lower youth unemployment rates than male nationals.
  • For females, the largest gap was for Sweden, where the rate for female non-EU citizens was 30.6 percentage points higher than for female nationals. Only in Greece and Cyprus did female non-EU citizens record lower youth unemployment rates than female nationals.
Figure 14: Difference between youth unemployment rates for non-EU citizens and nationals, persons aged 15–24 years, 2021
(percentage points; rate for non-EU citizens minus rate for nationals)
Source: Eurostat (lfsa_urgan)


Data sources

The data presented in this article are from the EU labour force survey (EU-LFS), the largest European household sample survey. The survey covers the resident population, defined as all people usually residing in private households. Usual residence means the place where a person normally spends the daily period of rest, regardless of temporary absences for purposes of recreation, holidays, visits to friends and relatives, business, medical treatment or religious pilgrimage. The data for the EU are aggregated results for the 27 EU Member States. For more information on the data sources used, please consult the online publication EU labour force survey.

Limitations of the data

The labour force survey covers only private households. As such, persons living in collective households are excluded from the target population. Due to the sampling nature of the survey, some data have low reliability or are not published due to very low reliability or confidentiality. Data that are of low reliability are duly marked in the footnotes below the figures and tables.

Main concepts

The economically active population is also referred to as the labour force. It comprises employed and unemployed persons.

  • An employed person is someone aged 15–89 years who, during the reference week of the labour force survey, performed work – even if just for one hour a week – for pay, profit or family gain. Also included are people who were not at work but had a job or business from which they were temporarily absent due to illness, holiday, industrial dispute or education and training.
  • An unemployed person is defined by Eurostat, according to the guidelines of the International Labour Organization, as someone:
    • aged 15 to 74 years,
    • not employed during the reference week according to the definition of employment,
    • currently available for work,
    • actively seeking work or found a job to start within a period of at most three months.
  • A long-term unemployed person is someone who is out of work and has been actively seeking employment for at least a year. The unemployment period is defined as the duration of a job search, or as the length of time since the last job was held (if shorter than the time spent on a job search).

Calculation of key rates:

  • the activity rate is the number of economically active persons as a percentage of the comparable total population;
  • the employment rate is the number of employed persons as a percentage of the comparable total population;
  • the unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force;
  • the youth unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons aged 15–29 years as a percentage of the labour force aged 15–29 years;
  • the share of long-term unemployment is the number of long-term unemployed persons as a percentage of all unemployed persons.

Context

In November 2020, an Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion 2021–2027 (COM(2016) 377 final) was adopted with the purpose of fostering social cohesion and building inclusive societies for all. Inclusion for all is about ensuring that all policies are accessible to and work for everyone, including migrants and EU citizens with migrant background. This plan includes actions in four sectoral areas (education and training, employment and skills, health and housing) as well as actions supporting effective integration and inclusion in all sectoral areas at the EU, Member State and regional level, with a specific attention paid to young people.

More information on the policies and legislation in force in this area can be found in an introductory article on migrant integration statistics.

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