The number of employees in the European Union (EU) increased by 0.2% in Q4 2017, which kept the pace of the previous three months, according to the latest Eurostat seasonally adjusted data. On an annual basis, the growth was 1.5% compared to 1.6% in the third quarter of the year, indicating a slight slowdown in the growth rate.
The average quarterly employment growth in the Eurozone compared to the July-September period was 0.3%, indicating a 0.1 percentage point slowdown on a quarterly basis. On an annual basis, the increase was 1.6% compared to 1.7% in the previous three months.
According to Eurostat estimates, 236.8 million people were employed in the 28 EU countries in the last three months of 2017, and in the Eurozone the figure was 156.7 million. These are record high levels for both regions.
For the whole year, the employment in the EU and in the Eurozone increased by 1.6% compared to an increase of respectively 1.2% and 1.3% in the previous year.
For the quarter, the highest employment growth was recorded in Malta (1.8%), Estonia (1.6%), Finland (1.2%) and Luxembourg (1.1%) compared to the previous quarter. However, in several countries there have been declines – in Italy and Poland (-0.3%) and in Greece and Lithuania (-0.1%). Only in the Czech Republic employment is unchanged.
On an annual basis, the largest employment growth in the quarter is again marked by Malta 6.1%, followed by Estonia (5.7%) and Croatia (3.8%). One single country reported a decline in employment – Lithuania (-0.5%).