In the EU, between the last quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, the index of total actual hours worked in the main job (computed using the year 2006 as reference with an index of 100 points) dropped sharply from 101.9 index points to 96.8 index points, which corresponds to a decrease of 5.1 index points.
All EU Member States, for which data are available, except Finland, experienced a drop in the index of total actual hours worked in the main job between the last quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020.
The highest decrease was observed in Italy (-9.7%), followed by Slovakia (-8.7%), Greece and Austria (both -7.9%). By contrast, Finland recorded an increase of +0.2%.
This is the first quarter in which the labour market across the EU has been affected by the COVID-19 measures taken by the EU Member States.
Spotlight on gender differences
In the EU, the decrease in the total actual hours worked in the main job between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020 is more visible for women than for men: -5.2% for women against -4.9% for men.
In 17 EU Member States, women were more affected in terms of actual working hours, during the starting period of the COVID-19 crisis. Highest decreases for women were observed in Italy (-10.3%) and Slovakia (-10.2%), followed by Greece (-8.3%), Austria (-7.8%) and Portugal (-6.3%).
Highest decreases for men were observed in Italy (-9.3%) and Austria (-8.0%), followed by Hungary (-7.9%), Malta and Slovakia (both -7.6%).
Source datasets: lfsi_ahw_q
For more information:
- News release on EU labour market in the first quarter 2020
- Statistics Explained article on Hours of work - quarterly statistics
- Statistics Explained article on Absences from work - quarterly statistics
- Statistics Explained article on Labour market slack - quarterly statistics
Methodological note: The index indicates the percentage of change in the total actual hours of work in the considered quarter of a year compared to the total actual working hours in 2006. Please note that the index only takes account of the hours worked in the main job. The value of the index is influenced by the number of employed persons in the considered quarter of a year, as well as by the number of hours worked by each of these employed persons. Consequently, the number of people temporary absent from work (still being considered as employed) also influences the value of the index.
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