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Employment in the European Union (EU) is forecast to pass its 2008 pre-crisis level in 2020 and, according to Cedefop’s skills supply and demand forecasts, will continue to rise up to 2025. Skills supply and demand over the next decade seem strongly influenced by future economic (GDP) growth rates, effects of the economic crisis that began in 2008 and demographic change. Variations are sometimes considerable between Member States. Unemployment in the EU remains high, compared to years previous to the crisis. But EU averages also mask wide differences across countries. For example, unemployment in Austria and Germany remains relatively low, but is high in Spain and Greece.

By 2025, most job growth in the EU as a whole is expected in business and other services, distribution and transport, and non-marketed (mainly public sector) services. Job losses will continue in the primary sector. Employment in construction, which saw most job losses after the crisis, is forecast to be broadly stable up to 2025. Most future job opportunities in the EU are forecast for professionals (high-level jobs in science, engineering, healthcare, business and education), followed by service and sales workers, technicians and associate professionals (occupations applying concepts, operations and regulations in engineering, healthcare, business and the public sector) and elementary occupations (jobs traditionally requiring low-level or no qualifications).

According to Cedefop’s forecasts, by 2020, in the EU around 46% of 30 to 34 year-olds will have high-level qualifications, exceeding its benchmark of 40% by 2020. All Member States should reach, or be close to this benchmark. In 2013, in the EU 11.9% of young people left the education and training system with low level qualifications, above its benchmark of reducing this to below 10% by 2020. Some 18 Member States have already reached this target.

Future employment growth (in %) in EU in 2015-2025 across sectors

Source:Cedefop
Indicator:Future employment growth

Projected changes in employment to 2025 (this indicator contains overall percentage change).

Key facts

TOP PERFORMERS

Source:Eurostat
Indicator:Employed population by sector

It shows the total number of employed population, of any age, broken down by sector.

Sectors with the largest share in employment in EU in 2015 

  • Manufacturing 15.39%
  • Wholesale & retail trade 13.99%
  • Health & social care 10.85% 
  • Education 7.61%
  • Public sector & defence 6.88% 

TOP PERFORMERS

Source:Eurostat
Indicator:Employed population by sector

It shows the total number of employed population, of any age, broken down by sector.

Occupations with the largest share in employment in EU in 2015:  

  • Sales workers 7.29%
  • Office associate professionals 6.68%
  • Teaching professionals 4.83% 
  • Personal service workers 4.68%
  • Drivers & vehicle operators 4.08%

TOP PERFORMERS

Source:Cedefop
Indicator:Future employment growth

Projected changes in employment to 2025 (this indicator contains overall percentage change).

Sectors expected to have the strongest employment change over the period 2015-2025 in EU:

  • Professional services 16.30%
  • Administrative services 12.72%
  • ICT services 7.97% 
  • Health & social care 7.83% 
  • Finance & insurance 7.63% 

LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE

Source:Cedefop
Indicator:Future employment needs

The additional number of people who will be required to work in an occupation given projected changes in employment and replacement demands. 

Occupations expected to have the largest numbers of job openings in EU over the period 2015-2025:

  • Office associate professionals 7,642,887
  • Cleaners and helpers 5,509,240
  • Farmworkers and gardeners 5,162,451
  • Sales workers 4,945,327
  • Office professionals 4,635,444

Featured indicator

Related indicators

Employment share of occupations (%) in EU (2011-2015 comparison)

Source:Eurostat
Indicator:Employed population

Shows the total number of employed people of any age.

 

Education profile (%) of the working age population in EU (2011-2015 comparison)

Source:Eurostat
Indicator:Working-age population

Measures the total number of people of working age (i.e. 15-64).

 

Age profile (%) of the working age population in EU (2011-2015 comparison)

Source:Eurostat
Indicator:Working-age population

Measures the total number of people of working age (i.e. 15-64).

 

Future employment growth (% change) across occupations in EU in 2015-2025

Source:Cedefop
Indicator:Future employment growth

Projected changes in employment to 2025 (this indicator contains overall percentage change).

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