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In-work poverty in the EU

16/03/2018

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Nearly one-tenth (9.6%) of employed persons aged over 18 in the European Union (EU) were at risk of poverty after social transfers in 2016. This risk was greatly influenced by the type of contract: the risk of monetary poverty was about twice as high for those working part-time (15.8%) than for those working full time (7.8%) and almost three times greater for employees with temporary jobs (16.2%) than for those with permanent jobs (5.8%). Employed men (10.0%) were also slightly more at risk of poverty than employed women (9.1%).

Over recent years, the proportion of employed persons at risk of poverty has risen continually, from 8.3% in 2010 to 9.6% in 2016.

Persons at risk of poverty are those living in a household with an equivalised disposable income below the risk-of-poverty threshold. This threshold is set at 60% of the national median equivalised disposable income (after social transfers).

 

In-work poverty in the EU Member States

The source dataset can be found here.

 

Highest in-work poverty in Romania, lowest in Finland

Across the EU Member States in 2016, the rate of employed persons at risk of poverty was highest in Romania (18.9%), followed at a distance by Greece (14.1%), Spain (13.1%), Luxembourg (12.0%), Italy (11.7%), Bulgaria (11.4%), Portugal (10.9%) and Poland (10.8%).

At the opposite end of the scale, fewer than 5% of unemployed persons were at risk of poverty in Finland (3.1%), the Czech Republic (3.8%), Belgium (4.7%) and Ireland (4.8%).

 

Highest increase of in-work poverty in Hungary, largest decrease in Lithuania

Compared with 2010, the share of employed persons at risk of poverty has risen in a majority of Member States.

The highest increases were recorded in Hungary (from 5.3% in 2010 to 9.6% in 2016, or +4.3 percentage points – pp), Bulgaria (+3.7 pp), Estonia (+3.1 pp), Germany (+2.3 pp), Italy and Spain (both +2.2 pp) as well as the United Kingdom (+1.8 pp).

In contrast, decreases in the share of employed persons at risk of poverty over this time period were observed in nine Member States. Lithuania had the largest decrease (from 12.6% in 2010 to 8.5% in 2016, or -4.1 pp), ahead of Denmark (-1.2 pp), Latvia (-1.1 pp) and Sweden (-1.0 pp).

 

See also Eurostat news item on unemployed persons at risk of monetary poverty.

For more information please contact us: estat-user-support@ec.europa.eu.