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9.2 Million EU Citizens Wish To Work More Hours

Published: April 19, 2013; 14:54 · (Vindobona)

Labour Force Survey: Proportion of underemployed part-time workers up to 21.4% in the EU27 in 2012

9.2 Million EU Citizens Wish To Work More Hours / Picture: © Vindobona.org

Among the 43 million part-time workers in the EU27 in 2012, 9.2 million wished to work more hours, were available to do so and can therefore be considered to be underemployed. Since the start of the economic crisis the proportion of part-time workers wishing to work more hours and available to do so has grown steadily, from 18.5% in 2008 to 20.5% in 2011 and 21.4% in 2012.

In 2012, the largest proportions of people wishing to work more hours and available to do so among part-time workers were found in Member States where the share of employed persons working part-time is relatively low: Greece (66%), Spain (55%), Latvia (53%) and Cyprus (50%). On the other hand, the smallest proportion was found in the Netherlands (3%), where part-time working is the most common, followed by Estonia (8%) and the Czech Republic (10%). This information2 is published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, based on the 2012 results of the European Labour Force Survey. The three indicators presented in this News Release provide an enhanced and richer picture of the labour market, by supplementing the existing information which classifies people as employed, unemployed or economically inactive.

A potential additional labour force of 11 million persons in the EU27 Among the economically inactive population (those persons neither employed nor unemployed), there were 8.8 million persons aged 15 to 74 available to work, but not seeking and 2.3 million seeking work, but not available in the EU27 in 2012, compared with 8.6 million and 2.3 million respectively in 2011 and 7.3 million and 2.4 million respectively in 2008. While not part of the economically active population, both groups have a certain attachment to the labour market. Together these two groups constitute a potential additional labour force5 of 11.0 million people. In the EU27 these two groups were equivalent to 4.6% of the current labour force, a percentage varying between Member States, from 1.5% in the Czech Republic to 12.1% in Italy.