8 million part-time workers in the EU would prefer to work more


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Among the population aged 15 to 74 in the European Union (EU), 230 million were employed in 2018, 17 million were unemployed and 134 million were economically inactive.

Around 8 in every 10 of those employed in the EU worked full-time (184 million) and 2 in 10 part-time (46 million). Among these 46 million people working part-time, 8 million were underemployed, meaning they wished to work more hours and were available to do so. This corresponds to a fifth (18%) of all part-time workers and 4% of total employment in the EU in 2018. Two thirds of these underemployed part-time workers were women (66%).


Underemployed part-time workers in 2018


In 2018, the proportion of underemployed part-time workers among total part-time workers varied significantly across the EU Member States. A majority of part-time workers aged 15 to 74 wished to work more hours in Greece (70% of part-time workers) and Cyprus (52%), closely followed by Spain (45%) and Portugal (37%).

At the opposite end of the scale, Czechia (5%) recorded the lowest shares of underemployed part-time workers, followed by the Netherlands and Estonia (both 9%), and Luxembourg and Germany (both 10%).

It should be noted that underemployed part-time workers were predominantly women in every EU Member State except Romania (36% were women), Bulgaria and Malta (both 50%).


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