In the EU, the employment rate of people aged 20-64 stood at 74.9% in the fourth quarter of 2022, an increase of 0.2 percentage points (pp) compared with the third quarter of 2022. 

The labour market slack, which comprises all people who have an unmet need for employment and of which one of the main components is unemployment, amounted to 11.5% of the extended labour force aged 20-64 in the fourth quarter of 2022, down from 11.6% in the third quarter 2022 (-0.1 pp). 

This information comes from data on the labour market in the fourth quarter of 2022 published today by Eurostat. This article presents only a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.

Bar chart and trendline: employment rate and labour market slack in the EU, Q1 2009 to Q4 2022, population aged 20-64, seasonally adjusted data

Source datasets: lfsi_emp_q and lfsi_sla_q

Changes in the employment rate between the third quarter of 2022 and the fourth quarter of 2022 varied across the EU Member States. The highest increases were recorded in Croatia and Malta (both +1.4 pp), Poland (+0.9 pp) as well as in Bulgaria and Italy (both +0.7 pp). 


Bar chart: change in employment rate Q4 2022 compared with Q3 2022, population aged 20-64, seasonally adjusted data

Source dataset: lfsi_emp_q

While employment rose in 12 EU Member States, it remained stable in Belgium, Germany, France and Romania and decreased in 11 Member States, with the biggest decreases recorded in Lithuania (-1.5 pp) followed by Luxembourg and Denmark (both -0.4 pp). 

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Methodological notes:

  • The extended labour force is the total number of people employed plus unemployed, plus those seeking work but not immediately available, plus those available to work but not seeking. In this article, data cover the population aged 20 to 64. 
  • This article uses quarterly and seasonally adjusted data from the EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) data.

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