In an effort to reinforce the European Union’s economy in 2010, the European Council approved the Europe 2020 strategy. One of the aims was to increase the rate of employment of the population aged between 20 and 64 years old, to at least 75% in the next decade. Furthermore, each EU member state had set their national targets for the employment rate by 2020.
Thirteen countries have already reached or even exceeded their target and these include;
Czechia, Germany and Malta are the only 3 EU states which have shown consistent upward movement in the past 14 years.
Since 2005, there has also been a notable shift in the European labour market, as well as a significant decrease in the gender employment gap. The 28 EU member states have seen a diminishing gender employment gap from 16% to 11.5% between 2005 and 2018. The policy to increase employment also extended to the senior population, resulting in an increase of 17.7% from 2005 to 2018.
According to the statistics, the highest rate of employment, 83.1%, is recorded for the age group between 40-44 years. The same age group has held the highest percentage since 2005.
Besides seeing a rise in employment, an increase in the medium and high education levels was observed, for both men and women. Those with a high level of education remain with the highest employment rate in the entire period between 2005-2018. Another trend detected was the distinct shift of women in employment with a high level of education, outnumbering the men in comparison to the numbers in 2005.