In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and the government measures to curb its spread affected the labour market in the EU. How did this affect the numbers of those who had recently started or left work?
In the second quarter of 2020 (Q2 2020), when the EU was in the 'first wave' of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of recent job leavers peaked at 6.3 million while the number of job starters fell to 5.0 million. This quarter was the only exception to the fact that recent job starters consistently outnumbered recent job leavers in the EU from the first quarter of 2006.
The number of recent job starters exceeded again that of recent job leavers in the third quarter of 2020 (Q3 2020): 6.9 million recent job starters against 3.8 million recent job leavers.
In the last quarter of 2020 (Q4 2020), the number of recent job leavers remained stable compared to Q3 2020, whereas the number of recent job starters dropped slightly to 6.8 million, a level close to those recorded during the financial crisis in the late 2000s.
For more information:
- Read the Statistics Explained article on Recent job starters and leavers – quarterly statistics.
- Eurostat website section on EU Labour Force Survey
- Eurostat database of EU Labour Force Survey
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