Q2 2021: Higher employment rates for natives than foreigners in the EU

The employment rate in the EU among native-born people with a native background aged 20 to 64 years old was 75 % in Q2 2021. Interestingly, the rate was also 75 % for those who are native-born with a mixed background, while the rate was 71 % among those who are native-born with a foreign background. Slightly more than two thirds of foreign-born people (67 %) were employed in the second quarter of 2021.

In general, the employment rate for those with a low level of education (i.e. less than primary, primary or lower secondary education, at most) was fairly similar across the different migratory statuses (varying between 53 % for native-born people with a foreign background and 56% for foreign-born people). The rate varied more across the different migratory statuses for those with a medium level of education (i.e. at most upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education; between 68% for foreign-born people and 74 % for native-born people with a native background) and a high level of education (i.e. tertiary education; between 77 % for foreign-born people and 87 % for native-born people with a native background).

In general, men were employed more than women across all the migratory and education statuses. However, the smallest disparities between the two sexes were recorded among the native-born with native, mixed and foreign backgrounds who have a high level of education (4 pp for native and mixed backgrounds, and 5 pp for foreign background). On the other hand, foreign-born people had the highest differences, from 12 pp for those having a high level of education, to 24 pp when having a low educational level. In addition, the higher the level of education, the narrower the gender gap for all categories of migration status.

For more information: 

  • The migration status distinguishes between nationals and migrants, and between first and second generation migrants. Migrants are persons who established their usual residence in another country than they were born, for a period that is – or is expected to be – at least 12 months. Therefore, they are foreign born. Second-generation migrants refer to two different groups of immediate descendants of migrants – therefore, native born. The first group, with a mixed background, is defined as persons who are born in the country of interview and who have one foreign-born parent and one native-born parent. The second group, with a foreign background, is defined as persons who are native-born, with both parents being foreign-born.
  • Statistics Explained article on Employment – quarterly statistics
  • Eurostat website section dedicated to EU Labour Force Survey
  • Eurostat database of EU Labour Force Survey
  • Eurostat website section dedicated to migration
  • Eurostat database of migration statistics

www.ec.europa.eu/eurostat/