EU employment rate in 2021 above pre-COVID level

 

In 2021, the share of employed people in the EU population was 73.1 %, corresponding to 189.7 million people. The labour market was affected by COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, showing a 1 percentage point (pp) decrease in the employment rate compared with 2019 (72.7% in the latter year), but then recovered in 2021 with a 0.4 pp increase compared with 2019.

Among the EU Member States, the employment rate was higher than 78 % (one of the three targets set in the 2030 action plan of the European Pillar of Social Rights) in eight EU Member States. The Netherlands (81.7 %), Sweden (80.7 %) and Czechia (80.0 %) registered the highest employment rates, with at least 8 out of 10 persons aged 20-64 in employment in 2021.

At the same time, less than 70 % of the population aged 20 to 64 were employed in Croatia (68.2 %), Spain (67.7 %), Romania (67.1 %), Italy (62.7 %) and Greece (62.6%).