Since the start of the millennium, more and more people are in work, while working conditions have changed.
Strong increase in female employment rate
In the period between 2002 and 2017 the employment rate for the total working age population increased from 67 % in 2002 to 72 % in 2017, mainly due to the high increase of the employment rate of women (from 58 % to 66 %). For men, the rate slightly increased from 75 % to 78 %. However, for young people aged 20 to 24, the pattern was different as the employment rate slightly decreased from 53 % in 2002 to 52 % in 2017.
The pattern of an increasing employment rate can also be seen in the euro area and in a large majority of Member States with the largest rises in Bulgaria, Poland and Malta. In 2017, the highest employment rates for women were found in Sweden (80 %), Lithuania (76 %), Germany and Estonia (both 75 %), and for men in the Czech Republic (86 %), Malta and Sweden (both 84 %), the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany (all 83 %). In all Member States, the employment rate for men was higher than for women.
Temporary and part-time employment increasing
In the period 2002 to 2017, the possibility to find a job with an unlimited duration has slightly reduced with the share of temporary employees in the EU increasing from 11 % in 2002 to 13 % in 2017. Temporary employment in 2017 was nearly the same among women (14 %) as among men (13 %) in the EU. The total share of temporary employees varied among the Member States, with the highest shares observed in Poland and Spain (both 26 %), Portugal (22 %) and Croatia (20 %), and the lowest in Romania (1 %), Lithuania (2 %), Estonia and Latvia (both 3 %).
Another important change in working conditions is the development of part-time work. In the EU, the proportion of those working part-time rose from 15 % in 2002 to 19 % in 2017. Part-time employment in 2017 was much more common among women (31 %) than among men (8 %) in the EU. The total share of part-time workers varied among the Member States, with the highest observed in the Netherlands (47 %), Austria (28 %), Germany (27 %), Belgium and the United Kingdom (both 24 %), and the lowest in Bulgaria (2 %), Hungary (4 %) and Croatia (5 %).