In 2021, the share of employed people in the EU population was 73.1%, corresponding to 189.7 million people, up 1.4 percentage points from 2020, the first pandemic year, Eurostat said.
This was a higher rate than for the pre-pandemic year 2019, when 72.7% of the population was employed.
The employment rate in the eurozone in 2021 was 72.5%, the same as in 2019. In 2020 it was 71.2%.
Croatia with one of lowest employment rates
The highest level of employment in 2021 was registered in the Netherlands, Sweden and the Czech Republic, which had employment rates of 81.7%, 80.8% and 80% respectively.
Employment rates of below 70% were registered in Croatia, Spain, Romania, Italy and Greece.
Greece and Italy had the lowest employment rates, of 62.6% and 62.7% of the working-age population employed.
Croatia’s employment rate was 68.2%. In 2020 it was 66.9% and in 2019 it was 66.7%.
Spain had an employment rate of 67.7% in 2021.
The gap is decreasing
The majority of EU member states (16) in 2021 achieved or surpassed their 2019 employment rates, with Poland reporting the best result (+3.1 pp).
It was followed by Romania (+2 pp), and Greece and Malta (+1.8 pp each).
Croatia’s employment rate increased by 1.5 percentage points compared with 2019.
Latvia is lagging behind its 2019 employment rate the most (-2.0 pp).
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