In 2016, the employment rate of the population aged 20 to 64 in the European Union (EU) stood at 71.1%, up compared with both 2015 (70.1%) and its previous peak recorded in 2008 (70.3%). In Cyprus the percentage stood at 67.9% in 2015 and increased to 68.8% in 2016 (73.9% for male and 64.1% for female workers), according to Eurostat.
The Europe 2020 strategy target is to reach a total employment rate for people aged 20 to 64 of at least 75% in the EU by 2020.
Compared with 2015, the employment rate for those aged 20 to 64 increased in 2016 in all Member States except Luxembourg where it remained nearly stable. It grew most strongly in Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Spain, Lithuania and Malta. Employment rates above 75% were recorded in Sweden (81.2%), Germany (78.7%), the United Kingdom (77.6%), Denmark (77.4%), the Netherlands (77.1%), the Czech Republic (76.7%), Estonia (76.6%) and Lithuania (75.2%). Among these Member States, the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Lithuania and Sweden have already met or exceeded their 2020 national targets for this indicator in 2016, as have Ireland and Latvia. Malta is only 0.4 percentage points from reaching its target. On the other hand, the lowest employment rate was observed in Greece (56.2%), followed by Croatia (61.4%), Italy (61.6%) as well as Spain (63.9%)
Employment rates of men and women continued however to vary considerably in many Member States in 2016. The difference between the employment rate of women and that of men aged 20-64 was lowest in Lithuania (74.3% for women vs. 76.2% for men, or -1.9 percentage points), Latvia (-2.9 pp), Finland (-3.3 pp) and Sweden (-3.8 pp). At the opposite end of the scale, the largest difference between the employment rate of women and that of men was observed in Malta (55.5% for women vs. 83.1% for men, or -27.6 pp). Big gaps were also recorded in Italy (-20.1 pp), Greece (-19.0 pp), Romania (-17.6 pp) and the Czech Republic (-16.0 pp). At EU level, the difference between the employment rate of women aged 20-64 (65.3%) and that of men aged 20- 64 (76.9%) was -11.6 pp in 2016, compared with -17.3 pp in 2002.
From 2002 onwards, the employment rate of people aged 55-64 in the EU has grown steadily to reach 55.3% in 2016, compared with 38.4% in 2002.
The growth was stronger for women (from 29.1% in 2002 to 48.9% in 2016) than for men (48.2% in 2002 vs. 62.0% in 2016).
In Cyprus the employment percentage for this age group was 48.5% in 2015 (57.8% male and 39.5% female) and increased to 52.0% in 2016 (60.9% for male and 43.3% for female workers).
In 2016, over half of the population aged 55 to 64 was in employment in fifteen EU Member States. The highest employment rate for this age group was observed in Sweden (75.5%), ahead of Germany (68.6%), Denmark (67.8%), Estonia (65.2%), Lithuania (64.6%), the Netherlands (63.5%) and the United Kingdom (63.4%). On the other hand, the lowest employment rates were registered in Greece (36.3%), Croatia (38.1%), Slovenia (38.5%) and Luxembourg (39.6%). Compared with 2015, the employment rate for those aged 55 to 64 increased in 2016 in all EU Member States except Croatia.
Source: Cyprus News Agency