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Sharp Decline in Employment in Europe Since End of 2019

Recent statistics from Eurostat have shown a sharp drop in the employment rate in European countries in the second quarter of 2020. Young people (aged 15-24) saw the most dramatic change since the end of 2019, with Slovenia and Ireland as the most affected countries. Photo credit: Freepik / For illustrative purposes.  

Czech Rep., Nov 13 (BD) – A report from Eurostat on employment of young people in Europe from the second quarter of 2020 has revealed a sharp drop since the previous quarters. The biggest drops in employment since the end of 2019 were among women aged 20-64 in Estonia and young people (15-24) in Slovenia and Ireland. Employment in the Czech Republic remained above the EU average.  

Since the first quarter of this year, the Covid-19 pandemic has put strain on the European labour market. Many countries in the EU implemented strategies to alleviate employment issues, such as shorter working hours or financial support, but many employees were directly impacted by the closure of workplaces. 

In the second quarter of this year, 72.0% of the total European population aged 20-64 (187.3 million people) were employed, compared to 73.1% (191.1 million people) in the fourth quarter of 2019. 

The countries to experience the biggest decline between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2020 were Estonia, Spain, Bulgaria, Portugal, Ireland and Austria. The employment rate in Estonia among women aged 20-64 decreased by over 4pp. Only Germany and Malta did not experience a decline in employment..  

Image credit: Eurostat.

Young people (aged 15-24) were most affected in Slovenia and Ireland, but a significant decline of over 4pp was also recorded in Spain, Finland, Portugal, Sweden and Estonia. Young people in Croatia, Greece and Italy were the least affected.

Image credit: Eurostat.
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