Underemployment among part-time workers in EU rises to 21.4% in 2012 from 20.5% in 2011, 18.5% in 2008; 8.8 million people between 15-74 years old available to work but not looking for job, up from 8.6 million in 2011

BRUSSELS , April 19, 2013 (press release) – Among the 43 million part-time workers in the EU27 in 2012, 9.2 million wished to work more hours, were available to do so1 and can therefore be considered to be underemployed. Since the start of the economic crisis the proportion of part-time workers wishing to work more hours and available to do so has grown steadily, from 18.5% in 2008 to 20.5% in 2011 and 21.4% in 2012.

In 2012, the largest proportions of people wishing to work more hours and available to do so among part-time workers were found in Member States where the share of employed persons working part-time is relatively low: Greece (66%), Spain (55%), Latvia (53%) and Cyprus (50%). On the other hand, the smallest proportion was found in the Netherlands (3%), where part-time working is the most common, followed by Estonia (8%) and the Czech Republic (10%).

This information2 is published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, based on the 2012 results of the European Labour Force Survey. The three indicators presented in this News Release provide an enhanced and richer picture of the labour market, by supplementing the existing information which classifies people as employed, unemployed or economically inactive.

A potential additional labour force of 11 million persons in the EU27

Among the economically inactive population (those persons neither employed nor unemployed), there were 8.8 million persons aged 15 to 74 available to work, but not seeking3 and 2.3 million seeking work, but not available4 in the EU27 in 2012, compared with 8.6 million and 2.3 million respectively in 2011 and 7.3 million and 2.4 million respectively in 2008. While not part of the economically active population, both groups have a certain attachment to the labour market. Together these two groups constitute a potential additional labour force5 of 11.0 million people. In the EU27 these two groups were equivalent to 4.6% of the current labour force, a percentage varying between Member States, from 1.5% in the Czech Republic to 12.1% in Italy.

Underemployment and part-time work, 2012

 

Persons aged 15 to 74 working part-time, wishing and being available to work more hours

In thousands

As % of part time employed

As % of total employment

Part-time employed aged 15 to 74, in % of total employment

EU27

9 185

21.4

4.3

19.9

EA17*

6 150

20.4

4.4

21.4

Belgium

158

14.0

3.5

25.0

Bulgaria

28

38.8

0.9

2.4

Czech Republic

27

9.6

0.5

5.7

Denmark

88

12.7

3.3

25.7

Germany

1 810

17.1

4.5

26.5

Estonia

10

8.0

1.7

10.4

Ireland

147

33.6

8.0

23.9

Greece

190

66.0

5.1

7.7

Spain

1 385

54.5

8.0

14.7

France**

1 144

24.7

4.4

18.0

Italy

605

15.6

2.6

17.0

Cyprus

20

50.4

5.3

10.5

Latvia

44

53.1

5.0

9.4

Lithuania

37

30.8

2.9

9.3

Luxembourg

5

11.7

2.2

18.9

Hungary

86

31.8

2.2

7.0

Malta

5

21.3

3.0

13.9

Netherlands

138

3.3

1.6

49.8

Austria

146

13.7

3.5

25.5

Poland

344

28.5

2.2

7.8

Portugal

256

42.8

5.6

13.2

Romania

239

25.3

2.6

10.2

Slovenia

18

20.6

2.0

9.5

Slovakia

37

38.0

1.6

4.1

Finland

75

20.1

3.0

15.1

Sweden

237

19.3

5.1

26.5

United Kingdom

1 907

24.1

6.5

27.0

Norway

81

11.1

3.1

28.1

Switzerland

264

16.9

6.0

35.6

Croatia

30

26.9

2.1

7.8

Former Yugoslav Rep. of Macedonia

14

33.6

2.2

6.4

Turkey

340

11.6

1.4

11.9

* Euro area (EA17): Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

** Excluding the overseas departments

Potential additional labour force5, 2012

 

Persons available to work but not seeking

Persons seeking work, but not immediately available

Thousands

Potential additional labour force in % of labour force5 aged 15-74

EU27

8 752

2 279

4.6

EA17

6 056

1 646

4.9

Belgium

100

60

3.3

Bulgaria

270

26

8.9

Czech Republic

62

17

1.5

Denmark

69

24

3.2

Germany

562

508

2.5

Estonia

41

3

3.1

Ireland

44

13

2.6

Greece

91

36

2.6

Spain

1 071

235

5.7

France*

285

444

2.6

Italy

2 975

111

12.1

Cyprus

15

3

4.3

Latvia

67

6

7.0

Lithuania

16

(8)

1.6

Luxembourg

13

2

5.7

Hungary

215

11

5.2

Malta

5

(1)

2.8

Netherlands

308

85

4.4

Austria

144

39

4.2

Poland

632

102

4.2

Portugal

232

29

4.8

Romania

458

:

4.6

Slovenia

18

(4)

2.1

Slovakia

41

13

2.0

Finland

111

63

6.5

Sweden

134

101

4.6

United Kingdom

774

334

3.5

Iceland

7

2

4.9

Norway

67

22

3.4

Switzerland

160

52

4.6

Croatia

151

11

9.5

Former Yugoslav Rep. of Macedonia

:

6

0.7

Turkey

1 636

92

6.4

: Data missing or not published due to small sample size

( ) Data with reduced reliability due to sample size.



* Excluding the overseas departments.

  1. Persons aged 15-74 working part-time who wish to work additional hours and are available to do so. Part-time work is recorded as self-reported by individuals.
  2. See Statistics Explained article for more details at the following link: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Underemployment_and_potential_additional_labour_force_statistics
  3. Persons available to work but not seeking are persons aged 15-74 neither employed nor unemployed who want to work, are available to work in the next 2 weeks but do not seek work.
  4. Persons seeking work but not immediately available are those aged 15-74 neither employed nor unemployed who actively sought work during the last 4 weeks but are not available to work in the next 2 weeks. For completeness this category also includes three smaller groups: those who found a job to start in less than 3 months and are not available to work in the next 2 weeks; those who found a job to start in 3 months or more; those who passively sought work during the last 4 weeks and are available to work in the next 2 weeks. Passive job search is e.g. waiting the results of a job interview
  5. The labour force consists of persons in employment and unemployed. The potential additional labour force is the total of the groups "Persons seeking work but not immediately available" and "Persons available to work but not seeking".

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