Wednesday, September 10, 2014


[IWS] Eurostat: PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE LABOUR MARKET--updated 4 September 2014

IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies-----------------Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor--------------------Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


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European Commission



PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE LABOUR MARKET--updated 4 September 2014


Data from July 2014. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.

This article analyses labour market participation in the European Union (EU), broken down by sex and age, on the basis of the results of the EU Labour force survey (EU-LFS). In 2013, the number of inactive persons as a percentage of the working age population in the EU-28 reached a new low of 28.0 %, continuing the downward trend of the previous years. This positive development is largely due to the increased participation of women in the labour market. The economically inactive population remains a heterogeneous group, e.g. as regards age, reasons for inactivity and the level of attachment to the labour market.



Main statistical findings

Fewer people outside the labour force in 2013

This statistical article analyses the economically inactive population, i.e. the population that is neitheremployed nor unemployed. Since 2002 and despite the economic crisis, the share of the inactive population in the total population of working age[1] has fallen from 31.4 % to 28.0 % in the EU-28 (see Figure 1). This corresponds to a reduction of 9.2 million inactive persons. The decline in inactivity rates is mainly due to the rising participation of women in the labour force. The share of women outside the labour market fell during that period by 5.6 percentage points, from 39.6 % to 34.0 %, while the share of men outside the labour force decreased by only 1.2 percentage point (from 23.2 % in 2002 to 22.0 % in 2013). As a consequence, the gender gap decreased continuously in the EU during this period of time, from 16.4 % in 2002 to 12.0 % in 2013. This decreasing trend in the gender gap is visible in almost all the Member States: while 12 countries had a gender gap above 15 % in 2002, only 5 countries exceed this limit in 2013. The situation remains however quite heterogeneous among countries: while the gender gap was lower than 7 percentage points in 2013 in the Nordic and Baltic countries and in Portugal, it remains well above the EU average in Malta (29.2 %), Italy (19.8 %) and Greece (18.9 %). The latter countries are among the ones where participation of women in the labour market remains very low (less than 60 % of women aged 15-64 are in the labour market in Greece, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Malta and Romania).





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