Migrant integration statistics - employment conditions
Data extracted in May 2018.
Planned article update: May 2019.
In the EU, nationals were more likely to be self-employed than migrants, especially migrants who were non-EU citizens.
In the EU, almost 20 % of migrants born outside the EU were temporary employees, compared with 13 % for native-born employees.
More than one quarter of the EU’s workforce born outside the EU worked part-time, compared with 18 % for the native-born workforce.
Development of the share of self-employed persons in total employment for the population aged 20-64, EU-28, 2008-2017
Several Member States within the European Union (EU) have traditionally been destinations for migrants, whether from elsewhere within the EU or from elsewhere in the world. This flow of migrants has led to a range of skills and talents being introduced into local labour markets. The integration of migrants has increasingly become a key area for policy focus, with measures to prepare immigrants and their descendants so they may be more active participants in society, for example, through labour market participation.
This article presents EU statistics for a range of employment characteristics, contrasting the situation of migrants with the native population; the information may be used as part of an on-going process to monitor and evaluate migrant integration policies. The indicators presented are based on: a set of Council conclusions from 2010 on migrant integration; a subsequent study Indicators of immigrant integration — a pilot study from 2011; and a report titled Using EU indicators of immigrant integration from 2013. The article analyses information from the list of Zaragoza indicators that were agreed by EU Member States in Zaragoza (Spain) in April 2010, alongside additional information derived from the 2013 report on migrant integration. More specifically, it presents statistical data on the following:
From 2008 to 2017, the share of non-EU citizens who were self-employed increased by 1.9 percentage points across the EU-28, while it decreased by 0.7 percentage points among nationals
The share of self-employed persons in total employment among the EU-28 population aged 20-64 increased among non-EU citizens by 1.9 percentage points (pp) between 2008 and 2017, rising from 9.7 % to reach 12.3 % in 2016, before falling back to 11.6 % in 2017 (see Figure 1). Despite this overall increase for non-EU citizens, the shares of self-employment were higher both for nationals (14.1 %) and for citizens of EU Member States other than the reporting Member State (12.8 %). While the share of non-EU citizens who were self-employed rose consistently during the period under observation (aside from the change in 2017), there were modest overall declines (0.7 pp) in the share of self-employment for both of the other groups of citizens — nationals and other EU citizens — between 2008 and 2017.An alternative analysis by country of birth shows quite similar developments insofar as there was a relatively rapid increase in the share of self-employment in the EU-28 for working-age migrants who were non-EU-born (in other words, born outside the EU), up by 2.0 pp during the period 2008-2016 to reach 13.9 %, followed by a downward development in 2017 (when the share stood at 12.4 %). There were modest reductions in the share of self-employed persons for the other two population groups, with the overall change for EU-born migrants (in other words, those born in a different EU Member State from the one in which they were living) equal to a fall of 0.8 pp, while for the native-born population there was a reduction of 0.7 pp.
In absolute terms, about 30.4 million persons of working-age were self-employed in the EU-28 in 2017. Around 26.9 million of these were native-born, while 3.5 million were migrants (with a higher share coming from outside the EU). Among the EU Member States, Italy had the largest self-employed population (4.7 million working-age persons), accounting for 15.4 % of all self-employed people in the EU-28. The United Kingdom and Germany followed with approximately 4.3 and 3.7 million self-employed persons.
In relative terms, there was little difference between self-employment rates in the EU-28 when analysing the results for 2017 by country of birth. The rate for the native-born working-age population was 14.2 %, while those for migrants were lower, at 12.7% for migrants born in a different EU Member State and 12.4 % for migrants born outside the EU. Among the EU Member States, by far the highest self-employment shares for migrants born outside the EU were recorded in Slovakia (36.5 %), the Czech Republic (34.5 %), Hungary (20.3 %) and Malta (19.5 %) — see Figure 2 — with the lowest rates recorded in Sweden (8.1 %), Estonia and Austria (both 8.0 %) and Cyprus (7.9 %).
For migrants born in a different EU Member State, the highest self-employment rate in 2017 was recorded in Poland (28.6 %), followed by Malta (20.3 %) and Latvia (19.5 %). At the other end of the range, the lowest self-employment rates for migrants born in a different EU Member State were registered in Austria (9.0 %), Cyprus and Luxembourg (both 8.8 %), with the lowest share in Hungary (7.4 %).Comparing self-employment rates between the native-born and migrant populations (subject to data availability), there was a mixed pattern across the EU Member States in 2017 (see Figure 2). Slovakia reported the largest gap when analysing the self-employment rates for migrants born outside the EU and those for the native-born population, with the share for the latter being 21.5 pp lower; the gap in the Czech Republic was almost as high (18.6 pp difference). The largest gap for the opposite situation was observed in the Greece, where the self-employment rate recorded for native-born population was 18.8 pp higher than it was for migrants born outside the EU. A similar comparison between self-employment rates for the native-born population and migrants born in a different EU Member State reveals that there were 16 Member States with the higher rates recorded for migrants born in a different Member State. Specifically it was observed in Estonia (7.2 pp difference), Malta (7.3 pp), Latvia (7.6 pp), Croatia (7.7 pp) and Poland (11.1 pp), whereas the native-born population recorded higher self-employment rates particularly in Italy (9.6 pp) and in Greece (15.6 pp).
Figure 3 presents an analysis of the total number of self-employed persons within the EU-28, by country of birth and according to their working status, with the self-employed split into two distinct groups: self-employed persons with employees (in other words, employers) and self-employed persons without employees (also known as own-account workers). People working on their own account are sole owners of unincorporated enterprises, such as people running their own business, farm or professional practice.In 2017, almost three quarters (71.0 %) of native-born self-employed persons aged 20-64 in the EU-28 were own account workers, with the remainder being employers. The corresponding shares of own account workers among migrants were 71.8 % among those born outside the EU and 75.7 % among those born in a different EU Member State.
Between 2008 and 2017, the share of migrants in the EU who were temporary employees fell, while the equivalent share for the native-born population increased slightlyTemporary employment and part-time employment (see below) may be considered either as a threat or an opportunity for employees, since these indicators can be viewed as a means towards broadening social integration or as indicators of under-employment. Across the EU-28, temporary employees accounted for a 12.8 % share of the total number of native-born employees in 2017 — the same share as in 2016 (see Figure 4). The corresponding shares for migrant populations were somewhat higher, as 14.3 % of migrants born in another EU Member State were employed on a temporary basis, while the share among migrants born outside the EU was 19.0 %.
In 2017, the gap between the share of native-born and foreign-born employees in the EU who were working on a temporary basis was 4.5 pp (see Table 1). The share of temporary employees in the total number of native-born employees peaked in Poland (25.6 %), Spain (24.4 %), Portugal (21.0 %) and Croatia (20.1 %). Among the foreign-born population, the share of temporary employees in the total number of employees was almost half (48.7 %) in Poland, while more than one fifth of the total number of foreign-born employees in Spain (36.6 %), Cyprus (28.2 %), Portugal (25.9 %), the Netherlands (24.2 %), Sweden (23.0 %) and France (21.1 %) were also employed on a temporary basis.
Among the 24 EU Member States for which 2017 data are available, the share of temporary employees was higher for the foreign-born population than it was for the native-born population in all but five. The largest difference was observed in Poland (a gap of 23.1 pp); the next highest gaps were recorded in Cyprus (17.4 pp), Spain (12.2 pp) and Sweden (10.8 pp). Croatia, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia and Malta were the only exceptions, where the share of temporary employees in the total number of employees was lower for migrants than it was for the native-born population; this gap was never greater than 1.8 pp (Croatia).There are limited data available for comparing the share of temporary employees between migrants born in another EU Member State and migrants born outside the EU. For 14 out of the 19 EU Member States for which data are available, the share of temporary employees was higher among migrants born outside the EU than it was for migrants born in another Member State. The biggest gap (28.0 pp) was recorded in Cyprus, where more than two fifths (41.8 %) of all migrant employees born outside the EU were employed on a temporary basis, compared with 13.8 % of migrants who had been born in another Member State; the next largest gaps were recorded in Sweden (11.2 pp), Finland (9.2 pp) and Luxembourg (9.1 pp). By contrast, in the Czech Republic, Greece, Denmark, Italy and Austria, the share of temporary employees was higher among those born in another EU Member State than it was for those born outside the EU; this gap was never greater than 2.7 pp (the Czech Republic and Greece).
Youth temporary employment
Between 2008 and 2017, the share of temporary employees rose in the EU among young people who were native-bornThe final two figures within this section provide an analysis of the share of temporary employees in the total number of employees for the population aged 15-29. Figure 6 shows the development of this share in the EU-28 during the period 2008-2017. Among the native-born population aged 15-29, the share of temporary employees in the total number of employees increased overall — the only year-on-year falls were in 2009 and 2012 — to reach 32.5 % in 2017. For young migrants born outside the EU, the share of temporary employees in the total number of employees fell rapidly between 2008 and 2009, remained relatively unchanged up to 2013, and then started to rise again thereafter, surpassing its initial share by 2017, at 37.1 %. These developments were in contrast to the situation for young migrants born in another EU Member State, where there was generally a slow reduction in the share of temporary employees (other than in 2011 and 2014) through to 2016. In 2017, there was a sharp rebound, as the share of the EU’s young migrant employees born in another EU Member State who were working on a temporary basis increased from 23.4 % to 25.6 %. Despite this, the share of young migrant employees born in another EU Member State who were working on a temporary basis remained some 6.9 pp lower than the corresponding share among the young native-born population.
The share of the workforce aged 20-64 working on a part-time basis rose faster among migrants than among the native-born population between 2008 and 2017The share of part-time employment in total employment increased steadily in the EU during recent years. This pattern was most apparent among migrant populations, with the fastest pace of increase recorded for migrants born outside the EU. Figure 8 shows that just over one quarter (25.4 %) of the EU’s migrant workforce who had been born outside the EU worked on a part-time basis in 2017, while the corresponding share for migrants born in another EU Member State was 22.1 % and that for the native-born workforce was lower at 17.9 %. A comparison between 2016 and 2017 reveals that having fallen a year before, there was a relatively sharp upturn in relation to the share of foreign-born migrants working on a part-time basis (both for migrants born in another EU Member State and migrants born outside the EU).
This pattern of a higher share of part-time employment among migrants — particularly those born outside the EU — was repeated in most of the EU Member States in 2017 (see Table 2). Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Croatia, Estonia and Cyprus reported higher shares of part-time employment among their native-born (rather than foreign-born) workforces, with the difference rising to 4.6 pp in the Netherlands and 5.3 pp in Luxembourg. On the other hand, the share of part-time employment among the migrant workforce was 9.9 pp higher than the share recorded for the native-born workforce in Greece. The next highest differences between these two subpopulations were observed in Italy (8.4 pp) and Spain (6.1 pp).
In 2017, the share of part-time employment was higher for women compared with men for all population groups
In 2017, the share of part-time employment was generally much higher among women than it was among men. For the native-born workforce (aged 20-64), the highest gender gaps in the proportion of people working on a part-time basis were recorded in the Netherlands (53.1 pp), Austria (38.6 pp) and Germany (37.0 pp). The difference between the sexes regarding the propensity to be employed on a part-time basis was generally much lower in EU Member States where the overall propensity to employ on a part-time basis was below the EU average. Indeed, the gap between the sexes was less than 0.5 pp in both Bulgaria and Romania.A similar analysis for the foreign-born workforce (aged 20-64) shows that migrants living in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria were inclined to follow the patterns observed for the native-born workforce, insofar as they recorded the largest gender gaps for shares of part-time employment. The share of part-time employment among migrants was consistently higher among women (than among men) in each of the 22 EU Member States for which data are available (no data or only partial data available for Bulgaria, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia), with the gap between women and men rising to 40.6 pp in the Netherlands, 40.2 pp in Germany, 32.6 pp in Austria and 32.0 pp in Belgium. By contrast, the lowest gender gaps were recorded for Croatia (where the share of part-time employment for the foreign-born workforce was 1.7 pp higher among female compared with male migrants), Latvia (4.2 pp) and Cyprus (4.3 pp).
Youth part-time employment
The share of part-time employment for young people (aged 15-29) in the EU-28 as a percentage of total employment increased during the nine years between 2008 and 2017, regardless of the country of birth; there were however signs that the propensity to employ on a part-time basis was falling for some subpopulations of young people during the last couple of years.Across the whole of the EU-28, in 2017 the share of part-time employment for young people born outside the EU was particularly high, at 30.0 %, compared with shares of 23.1 % for those who were native-born and 22.9 % for those born in another EU Member State. These aggregate figures (for both sexes) disguise the gender imbalance that exists in relation to part-time employment (see Figure 9), with a higher proportion of young women (than men) in part-time employment. The share of part-time employment among young women born in another EU Member State stood at 32.6 %, which was 18.7 pp higher than the corresponding share among young male migrants born in another EU Member State. The differences for the other subpopulations were almost as large, as the share of part-time employment among young women born outside the EU was 38.1 % (14.4 pp higher than for young men) and the share for young women who were native-born was 30.8 % (14.3 pp higher). For both sexes, the highest shares of part-time employment were recorded for young migrants born outside the EU. By contrast, the shares of part-time employment among young people who were native-born and young people who were born in another EU Member State were quite closely matched. The proportion of young men born in another EU Member State who were working on a part-time basis (13.9 %) was slightly lower than the corresponding share for young men who were native-born (16.5 %), whereas for young women the situation was reversed, as a slightly lower share of the native-born population worked on a part-time basis (30.8 % compared with 32.6 %).
Despite falling at a relatively fast pace between 2015 and 2016 and then remaining unchanged in 2017, the share of part-time employment among young people born outside the EU rose overall by 6.1 pp across the EU-28 between 2008 and 2017. While there were also increases for the other two subpopulations, their rates of change were somewhat less marked, as the proportion of part-time employment rose by 4.7 pp for young people born in another EU Member State, and by 4.2 pp for young people who were native-born.
Source data for tables and graphs
The main data source for employment characteristics is the EU labour force survey (EU-LFS). The EU-LFS is a quarterly sample survey that covers the resident population aged 15 and above in private households; it provides data for the EU Member States, EFTA (except Liechtenstein) and candidate countries. The survey is designed to provide population estimates for a set of main labour market characteristics, covering areas such as employment, unemployment, economic inactivity and hours of work, as well as providing analyses for a range of socio-demographic characteristics, such as sex, age, educational attainment, occupation, household characteristics and region of residence.
A set of Council, European Parliament and European Commission regulations define how the EU-LFS is carried out, whereas some countries have their own national legislation for the implementation of the survey. The key advantage using EU-LFS data is that they come from a survey which is highly harmonised and optimised for comparability. However, there are some limitations when considering the coverage of the EU-LFS for migrant populations, as the EU-LFS was designed to target the whole resident population and not specific subgroups, such as migrants. The following issues should be noted when analysing migrant integration statistics:
- recently arrived migrants — this group of migrants is missing from the sampling frame in every host Member State, which results in under-coverage of the actual migrant population for EU-LFS statistics;
- non-response — one disadvantage of the EU-LFS is the high percentage of non-response that is recorded among migrant populations, this may reflect: language difficulties; misunderstanding concerning the purpose of the survey; difficulties in communicating with the survey interviewer; or fear concerning the negative impact that participation in the survey could have (for example, damaging a migrants chances of receiving the necessary authorisation to remain in the host Member State);
- sample size — given the EU-LFS is a sample survey, it is possible that some of the results presented for labour market characteristics of migrants are unrepresentative, especially in those EU Member States with small migrant populations (note that for cases where data are considered to be of particularly low reliability, statistics are not published).
This article focuses on comparisons between national and migrant populations. The results for the migrant population are usually disaggregated into migrants from other EU Member States and migrants from outside the EU, with information presented by age and by sex. Migrant indicators are calculated for two broad groups: the foreign population determined by country of birth and the foreign population determined by citizenship. Although providing some main indicators for the latter, this article focuses on information for migrant integration by country of birth (this subgroup of the population is generally somewhat larger and therefore allows a more complete and robust data set to be presented). That said, results by country of birth are generally representative of those by citizenship.
The following analyses are presented:
For the population by country of birth
- Native-born — the population born in the reporting country;
- Foreign-born — the population born outside the reporting country; subdivided into:
- EU-born — the population born in the EU, except the reporting country; and
- Non-EU-born — the population born in non-EU countries.
For the population by citizenship
- Nationals — the population of citizens of the reporting country;
- Foreign citizens — the non-nationals; subdivided into:
- EU citizens — the citizens of EU Member States, except the reporting country;
- Non-EU citizens — the citizens of non-EU countries.
For the population by age
- 15-29 — this age cohort represents the youth population;
- 20-64 — this cohort has been selected because it is relevant to one of the targets included within the Europe 2020 strategy, namely, that the employment rate of persons aged 20-64 should reach 75 % by 2020;
- 25-54 — this cohort is considered as the most appropriate group for an analysis of the situation of core working-age migrants, as it minimises the effects of migration related to non-economic reasons (for example, educational studies, training or early retirement), while forming a homogenous group that is large enough to produce reliable results;
- 55-64 — this cohort focuses on older migrants.
The indicators in this article use the definitions of the Zaragoza indicators. The above age groups may not be same as used in Eurostat labour market statistics. For this reason results may differ from other results disseminated by Eurostat.
There is a strong link between integration, migration and employment policies since successful integration is necessary for maximising the economic and social benefits of immigration for EU societies and economies. The importance of integration of nationals of non-member countries living legally in the EU Member States and the establishment of policies for a secure labour environment for migrants underwent a considerable development in 2000 when the Racial Equality Directive (2000/43/EC) and the Employment Equality Directive (2000/78/EC) were adopted in order to prohibit discrimination in employment, occupation, social protection education and access to public goods on the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age, or sexual orientation, race and ethnic origin. In 2010, Europe 2020, a strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth (COM(2010) 2020 final) was set as a foundation for all people, including migrants, to achieve the objective of ‘an inclusive high employment society’, setting a target of reaching a 75 % employment rate by 2020. In July 2011, the European Commission proposed a European agenda for the integration of third-country nationals  focusing on actions to increase economic, social, cultural and political participation by migrants. The agenda highlighted challenges that need to be addressed if the EU is to benefit fully from the potential offered by migration and the value of diversity. It also explored the role of countries of origin in the integration process.
With regard to the measurement of migrant integration, the Stockholm Programme for the period 2010-2014 embraced the development of core indicators for the monitoring of the results of integration policies in a limited number of relevant policy areas including employment, education and social inclusion. Through the 2010 Zaragoza Declaration (and the subsequent Council conclusions) Member States identified a number of common indicators (the so-called Zaragoza indicators) and called upon the European Commission to undertake a pilot study examining proposals for common integration indicators and reporting on the availability and quality of the data for a range of harmonised sources necessary for the calculation of these indicators. The proposals in the pilot study were examined and developed in a report published by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs Using EU indicators of immigrant integration.
In July 2015, the European Commission released jointly with the OECD a report on indicators of immigrant integration Settling in — 2015. While in the thematic chapters of this report the analysis is focused on the foreign-born population, there is a specific chapter dealing with the situation of non-EU citizens in the EU, aimed specifically at monitoring the Zaragoza indicators.
On 7 June 2016 the European Commission adopted an Action Plan on the integration of third-country nationals. The plan aims to support the integration process of nationals of non-member countries in the EU, including the specific challenges faced by refugees. The actions target key policy priorities such as pre-departure/pre-arrival measures and access to basic services (education, vocational training, labour market integration, health-care and housing).
- EU labour force survey statistics — online publication
- Migrant integration statistics — online publication
- Employment (mii_emp)
- Unemployment (mii_une)
- Long-term unemployment (12 months or more) as a percentage of the total unemployment, by sex, age and nationality (%) (lfsa_upgan)
- Long-term unemployment (12 months or more) as a percentage of the total unemployment, by sex, age and country of birth (%) (lfsa_upgacob)
- Employment and self-employment (mii_em)
- Employment rates by sex, age and nationality (%) (lfsa_ergan)
- Employment rates by sex, age and country of birth (%) (lfsa_ergacob)
- Part-time employment as percentage of the total employment, by sex, age and nationality (%) (lfsa_eppgan)
- Part-time employment as percentage of the total employment, by sex, age and country of birth (%) (lfsa_eppgacob)
- Self-employment by sex, age and country of birth (1 000) (lfsa_esgacob)
- Self-employment by sex, age and nationality (1 000) (lfsa_esgan)
- Temporary employees as percentage of the total number of employees, by sex, age and nationality (%) (lfsa_etpgan)
- Temporary employees as percentage of the total number of employees, by sex, age and country of birth (%) (lfsa_etpgacob)
- Unemployment (mii_une)
- European agenda on migration — legislative documents
- Directive 2014/66/EU of 15 May 2014 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer
- Directive 2011/98/EU of 15 May 2014 on a single application procedure for a single permit for third-country nationals to reside and work in the territory of a Member State and on a common set of rights for third-country workers legally residing in a Member State
- Directive 2009/50/EC of 25 May 2009 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly qualified employment, commonly called the ‘Blue card directive’
- Directive 2003/86/EC of 22 September 2003 on the right to family reunification
- Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin
- Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation
- ‘Third-countries’ is a synonym for non-member countries, in other words countries outside of the EU.