(08 May 2015) – For the first time since the financial crisis, the employment rate1 of the population aged 20 to 64 in the EU increased in 2014, reaching 69.2% but not yet its 2008 peak (70.3%). In contrast, the employment rate of women has continuously risen since 2010 to 63.5%.
Compared with 2013, the employment rate for those aged 20 to 64 increased in 2014 in almost every Member State, and most strongly in Hungary, Portugal, Croatia and Lithuania. Employment rates above 75% were recorded in Sweden (80.0%), Germany (77.7%), the United Kingdom (76.2%), the Netherlands (76.1%) and Denmark (75.9%).
On the opposite, employment rates below 60% were observed in Greece (53.3%), Croatia (59.2%), Spain and Italy (both 59.9%). Four Member States have already met or exceeded their 2020 national targets for this indicator in 2014: Germany, Croatia, Malta and Sweden.
Employment rates of men and women continued to vary considerably in many Member States in 2014. The difference between the employment rate of women and that of men aged 20-64 was lowest in Finland (72.1% for women vs. 74.0% for men, or -1.9 percentage points),
Lithuania (-2.5 pp), Latvia and Sweden (both -4.6 pp). At the opposite end of the scale, the largest difference between the employment rate of women and that of men was observed in Malta (51.9% for women vs. 80.3% for men, or -28.4 pp). Big gaps were also recorded in Italy (-19.4 pp), Greece (-18.3 pp), the Czech Republic (-17.5 pp) and Romania (-16.7 pp). At EU level, the difference between the employment rate of women aged 20-64 (63.5%) and that of men aged 20-64 (75.0%) was -11.5 pp in 2014, compared with -17.3 pp in 2002.