Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Annual report on intra-EU labour mobility 2021

Annual report on intra-EU labour mobility 2021

The report identifies trends in free movement of workers, based on the latest available data (2020/2019). This edition also includes findings on the impact of COVID-19 on mobility and on return mobility.

The latest developments show that mobility growth came to a halt during the pandemic. In 2020 13.5 million Europeans lived in another EU country, out of which about 10 million of working age.

The main EU country of destination for EU movers is Germany followed by Spain, Italy and France. Romania, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Croatia and Bulgaria were the most important countries of origin of mobile workers in general and active mobile workers in particular.

The report shows that mobility is mostly not a lifetime-decision: more than half of the movers is 20-49 years old. Many of them return after having gained some years of professional experience abroad.  

The main sectors of activity for EU-movers in 2020 were manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade, employing 16% and 11% of EU-27 movers, respectively, and 17% and 13% of nationals. The share of high-skilled EU-28 movers continued to increase: in 2020, 35% EU-27 movers was high-skilled, compared to 30% in 2016.

For the full story, please consult the Annual Report on Intra-EU Labour Mobility. The main findings of the report are summarised in the Intra-EU labour mobility at a glance paper.

Catalog N. : KE-BQ-22-001-EN-N

Available on  EU Publications

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