Unmet demand for employment falls to 14% in 2021 - Products Eurostat News

null Unmet demand for employment falls to 14% in 2021

12/05/2022

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In 2021, the unmet demand for employment (labour market slack) in the EU, amounted to 14.0% of the extended labour force (aged 15-74 years), corresponding to 31.2 million people. The labour market slack was at 13.6% in 2019 and increased when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the labour market in 2020 (14.9%) mainly due to the increase in the number of people available to work but not seeking it. This might be explained by the length and the repetition of the lockdowns as well as other sanitary measures preventing people looking for a job.

In terms of components of the labour market slack in 2021, unemployment stood at 6.7% of the extended labour force, people available to work but not seeking stood at 3.7%, underemployed part-time workers at 2.8% and people seeking work but not immediately available at 0.8%.

In 2021, the labour market slack was highest in Spain (24.1%), followed by Italy (22.8%) and Greece (22.2%). By contrast, Czechia (3.9%), Malta (5.5%) and Poland (5.7%) registered the lowest labour market slack.

Bar chart: Labour market slack by country, 2021 (% of extended labour force, people aged 15-74)

Source dataset: lfsi_sla_a


Unemployment in labour market slack at 48% in the EU

The unmet demand for employment has several components, whose weight varies across countries. In 2021, the unemployment component accounted for less than half (48.0%) of the unmet demand for employment at EU level and varied significantly from one country to another. 

Eastern and southern countries (except Italy) were characterized by a higher share of unemployment in the labour market slack than western and northern countries. In Czechia (75.5%) and Slovakia (72.1%), followed by Lithuania (67.7%), Malta (66.7%) and Greece (63.4%), more than 6 in 10 people facing an unmet demand for employment were not employed, were available and sought work. 

However, fewer than 4 in 10 people facing an unmet demand for employment were unemployed in the Netherlands (30.9%), Ireland (36.8%), Italy (37.1%) and Luxembourg (38.6%) leaving the other components (such as people available to work but not seeking, underemployed part-time workers and people seeking work but not immediately available) more substantial.

Map: Share of unemployment in the labour market slack, 2021 (%, people aged 15-74)

Source dataset: lfsi_sla_a


For more information:

Methodological notes: 

  • Unemployed people are defined, in line with the guidelines of the International Labour Organisation as people without work during the reference week, available to start working within the next two weeks, and actively having sought employment at some time during the last four weeks.
  • The extended labour force is made of employed people (including underemployed part-time workers), unemployed people as well as people available to work but not seeking employment, and people seeking employment but not available to work. 

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