How common is temporary employment in your country?


© jokerpro /

27 million employees aged 15 to 64 in the European Union (EU) had a temporary contract in 2017. This represents 14.3% of all employees in the EU. Temporary employment has fluctuated between 12.7% and 14.5% of all employees over the last 15 years.

In 2017, this proportion was slightly higher for women (14.8%) than for men (13.8%). It was also higher in the euro area (16.0%) than in the EU.


Significant discrepancies can be observed in the use of temporary work contracts across the EU Member States and between age groups.


Highest share of employees with a temporary contract in Spain and Poland; lowest in Romania and Lithuania

Over one in four employees in Spain (26.8%) and Poland (26.1%), and more than one in five in Portugal (22.0%), the Netherlands (21.5%) and Croatia (20.6%) had a temporary contract in 2017.

At the opposite end of the scale, temporary employees accounted for less than 2% of all employees in both Romania (1.2%) and Lithuania (1.7%). Low shares were also recorded in Latvia (3.0%), Estonia (3.1%), Bulgaria (4.4%), Malta and the United Kingdom (both 5.6%).

Share of temporary employees

The source dataset can be found here.


Young employees clearly the most affected

Young people held by far the highest share of temporary contracts. Last year in the EU, nearly 8 million young people, or almost half (43.9%) of employees aged 15 to 24, were employed under a temporary contract.

Across the EU Member States, more than seven in ten young employees had a temporary contract in Spain (73.3%) and Slovenia (71.6%). Around two-thirds of them had such contracts in Poland (68.2%) and Portugal (65.9%), while about six in ten were affected in Italy (61.9%), Croatia (60.8%) and France (58.0%).

In contrast, the share of young people working under a temporary contract was less than 10% in Romania (4.1%), Latvia (6.7%) and Lithuania (6.8%).It was below 20% in Estonia (10.6%), Bulgaria (12.7%), Malta (13.0%), the United Kingdom (14.5%) and Hungary (17.6%).

Share of temporary employees by age group in the EU

The source dataset can be found here.


For more information please contact us: