Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 17/12/2018

Employment and social developments in Europe: Record number of people in employment in the EU

The winter edition of the Commission's Employment and Social Development in Europe (ESDE) Quarterly Review confirms overall positive labour market developments. Total employment hit a new record of 239.3 million people in the third quarter of 2018.

Employment and social developments in Europe: Record number of people in employment in the EU

The largest share of new jobs is permanent and full time jobs. In the second quarter of 2018, permanent jobs had increased by 2.7 million compared with the same quarter of the previous year.

The employment rate continued rising towards the Europe 2020 target and reached 73.2 % in the second quarter of 2018.

Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: “Once again, we see progress on the EU labour market. Total employment has hit a record of 239 million workers. Youth unemployment continues to drop and full-time jobs are on the rise. We are approaching our goal of reaching a 75% employment rate in the European Union by 2020. While these developments are positive, we still face certain challenges. Economic growth has been slowing down amid global uncertainties. Increasing labour and skill shortages may dampen employment creation. Although household disposable income is gradually increasing, financial distress and debt remains a concern for 13% Europeans. The European Commission and EU Member States will continue working towards sustainable and inclusive growth to address these issues. The implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights is a crucial in this respect. The next EU long-term budget should also mobilise more funds to achieve these objectives. We need to make sure that our actions at EU, national, regional and local levels are fair and inclusive, step up our investment in people and restore confidence in the future.

The number of full-time workers increased by 2.3 million, while the number of part-time workers remained stable.

EU employment increased in all sectors except agriculture compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The service sector recorded the greatest rise: 730 000 people more employed in wholesale trade alone and 1.8 million more in other services.

The unemployment rate continued to decrease: in October 2018, it stood at 6.7 % in the EU and 8.1 % in the euro area, reflecting a drop by 0.7 percentage points in both cases compared to a year earlier.

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