EU labour market flows in Q2 2021

Between the first and the second quarter of 2021, 3.9 million unemployed people in the EU (24.2 % of all unemployed in the first quarter of 2021) found a job. During this period, 8.8 million (54.6 %) remained unemployed and 3.4 million unemployed people (21.2 %) became economically inactive.

Of all those in employment in the first quarter of 2021, 2.4 million (1.2 %) became unemployed in the second quarter of 2021, while 5.5 million (2.8 %) transitioned into economic inactivity.

From those counted as economically inactive in the first quarter of 2021, 6.0 million (4.9 %) moved into employment in the second quarter of 2021 and 4.6 million (3.8 %) transitioned into unemployment.

This information comes from recently published data on labour market flows in the second quarter of 2021. The results cover the whole EU for the first time and are hence not directly comparable with data up to 2020. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.

The graphic and table below give an overview of all possible transitions and show the changes in labour market status. In the graphic, the figures for employment, unemployment and inactivity refer to the number of people remaining in each status between the two quarters. The grey arrows indicate the direction of net flows.  

For more information:

  • Eurostat Statistics Explained article on labour market flow statistics in the EU
  • Labour market transitions are particularly well placed to describe the developments on the labour market during the COVID-19 pandemic as they also cover transitions into and out of economic inactivity. Employment and unemployment alone, as defined by the ILO concept, might not be sufficient as a) active measures to contain employment losses could lead to absences from work rather than dismissals, and b) individuals could not search for work or were not available due to the containment measures, thus not counting as unemployed. For more information as well as additional indicators, take a look at the news item on EU labour market in the second quarter of 2021.
  • The figures in this article are based on seasonally adjusted data with the exception of Germany (time series too short).
  • Metadata on labour market transitions
  • Eurostat website section dedicated to EU Labour Force Survey
  • Eurostat database of EU Labour Force Survey