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. 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.

EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: “This report shows again very good 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. The number of hours worked is still below the peak of 2008. Economic growth has been slowing down while increasing labour and skill shortages may dampen employment creation. To achieve our objective of a more social and inclusive Europe, we must wrap up our important legislative initiatives – including on Work-Life Balance as well as on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions - as soon as possible. National reforms advocated for in the European Semester must continue. This is to ensure that the European Pillar of Social Rights and its principles become a reality for all.”

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.

The full report is available here.