Back Temporary employment in the EU


© Stephen VanHorn /

26.4 million employees aged 15 to 64 in the European Union had a temporary contract in 2016. This represents 14.2% of all employees in the EU. This proportion was slightly higher for women (14.7%) than for men (13.8%).

More than 1 in 5 employees had a temporary contract in 2016 in Poland (27.5%), Spain (26.1%), Portugal (22.3%), Croatia (22.2%) and the Netherlands (20.6%). At the opposite end of the scale, temporary employees accounted for less than 5% of all employees in Romania (1.4%), Lithuania (2.0%), Estonia and Latvia (both 3.7%) as well as in Bulgaria (4.1%).

Share of temporary employees aged 15-65 in the EU, 2016 (%)


Temporary contract for almost 1 in 2 young employees in the EU

Young people held by far the highest share of temporary contracts. In the EU in 2016, 43.8% of employees aged 15 to 24 were employed under a temporary contract.

More than 7 in 10 young employees had a temporary contract in Slovenia (74.0%), Spain (72.9%) and Poland (70.7%). Around two-thirds of them had such contracts in Portugal (66.3%) and Croatia (64.6%), while more than half of young employees in France (58.6%), the Netherlands (55.6%), Italy (54.7%), Sweden (54.2%) and Germany (53.2%) were affected. In contrast, this share was less than 10% in Romania (5.3%), Lithuania (7.8%) and Latvia (8.3%).


The source datasets can be found here: lfsa_etgaed (temporary employees) and lfsa_eegaed (all employees).