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Total labour market slack up to 14%

Oct 8, 2020 | News

(08 October 2020) – Eurostat is publishing a set of additional seasonally adjusted quarterly indicators which help to capture the most recent movements on the labour market following COVID-19 measures taken by Member States.

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These include total labour market slack, which comprises all persons who have an unmet need for employment, absences from work as well as an index of total actual hours worked in the main job.

Seasonally adjusted total labour market slack in the EU, consisting in unmet demand for labour, amounted to 29.6 million persons, which represented 14.0% of the extended labour force in the second quarter 2020, up from 12.8% in the first quarter 2020.

This has been the highest quarter-on-quarter increase since the beginning of the time series in 2008.

Overall labour market slack increased in all EU Member States in the second quarter 2020 compared to the first quarter 2020, except in Latvia (-0.6 pp). The highest increases were reported in Ireland (+3.4 pp), Italy and Austria (both +2.6 pp), and Spain (+2.4 pp).

Employment fell in all countries with the exception of Luxembourg (+0.6 pp). The highest drops in employment were recorded in Estonia (-3.3 pp), Slovenia (-2.2 pp) and Spain (-2.1 pp), and the lowest in Croatia (-0.3 pp), Latvia and Poland (both -0.4 pp).

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