EU employment up, labour market slack down in Q2 2021

In the EU, the employment rate of people aged 20-64 stood at 72.8 % in the second quarter of  2021, which represents an increase of 0.7 percentage points (pp) compared with the first quarter of 2021.

The labour market slack, which comprises all people who have an unmet need for employment and of which one of the main components is unemployment, amounted to 13.8 % of the extended labour force aged 20-64 in the second quarter 2021, down from 14.7 % in the first quarter 2021 (-0.9 pp).

This information comes from data on the labour market in the second quarter of 2021 published by Eurostat today. This article presents only a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.

Changes in the employment rate between the first and the second quarter of 2021 varied across the EU Member States. The highest increases were recorded in Slovenia (+2.8 pp), Greece (+2.1 pp), Belgium and Luxembourg (both +1.5 pp). While employment rose in 25 EU Member States, two recorded a decrease: Estonia (-1.4 pp) and Romania (-0.3 pp).

Methodological changes

The labour market indicators published from the first quarter 2021 are based on the EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) under the new Regulation (EU) 2019/1700 on European statistics relating to persons and households, based on data at individual level collected from samples. This new Framework Regulation, hereafter IESS, further improves harmonisation and comparability of labour market data in the EU. 

More details on the IESS Regulation can be found here.

For more information:

  • This article uses quarterly and seasonally adjusted Labour Force Survey (LFS) data.
  • Eurostat Statistics Explained article on EU labour market – quarterly statistics
  • Eurostat website section dedicated to EU Labour Force Survey
  • Eurostat database of EU Labour Force Survey
  • The extended labour force is the total number of people employed plus unemployed, plus those seeking work but not immediately available, plus those available to work but not seeking. In this article, data cover population aged 20 to 64.