Bulgaria is the EU country, which has recorded the greatest increase in employment of persons between 20 and 64 for last year. This is clear from the latest data published by Eurostat. The employment in the country in 2017 increased by 3.6 percentage points to 71.3%. Thus, Bulgaria is getting closer to fulfilling its own goal of a EU 2020 strategy to employment of 76%. The share of men aged 20 to 64, who are employed is even higher – 75.3%, but for women it is 8 percentage points lower – 67.3%.
In 2017, the employment rate of people in the same age group across the European Union was 72.2% compared to 71.1% in the previous year. The goal of the Europe 2020 strategy is to reach 75% for the EU by 2020. However, all countries have different own rules to reflect the situation and the capabilities of each of them to the common goal.
The upward trend in employment is seen in both men and women. The average male employment rate in the EU reached 78.0% in 2017, which is 1.1 percentage points more on an annual basis and even above the previous peak of 2008 – 77.9%. For women, employment has continued to grow since 2010, reaching 66.5% last year.
Second in the statistics is Slovenia (3.3 percentage points), followed by Portugal (2.8 percentage points), Romania (2.5 percentage points), Croatia (2.2 ) and Estonia (2.1 percentage points). One single country declined – Denmark (-0.5 percentage points).
The employment rate of 75% is reported by several countries, including Sweden (81.8%), Germany (79.2%), Estonia (78.7%), the Czech Republic (78.5%), the United Kingdom (78.2%), The Netherlands (78.0%), Denmark (76.9%), Lithuania (76.0%) and Austria (75.4%). Of these, the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Lithuania and Sweden have already fulfilled or even exceeded their national targets for 2020 as early as 2017. In addition, Ireland, Croatia, Latvia and Malta have achieved the target.
On the other hand, the lowest employment rates are Greece – 57.8%, although it has risen again by 1.6 percentage points. Followed by Italy (62.3%, +0.7 percentage points), Croatia (63.6%, +2.2 percentage points) and Spain (65.5%, +1.6 percentage points).