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Employment rate in 2016

Total number of employed (20-64 years) as a share of the total population of the same age

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The employment rate is an important indicator of the economy of a country or a region and is sensitive to changes in economic cycles. This was, for example, visible after the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 when the employment rate dropped significantly in most parts of Europe. The employment rate is also an important social indicator as labour market exclusion can be both a result of and a precursor to social exclusion. In the EU2020 strategy, employment rate was therefore chosen as an indicator for the theme “inclusive growth”. The EU2020 goal is to increase the average employment rate in the EU from 68.5% in 2010 to at least 75% in 2020. By 2016, the average employment rate for the EU was 71% indicating some remaining room for improvement.

The map shows a clear spatial pattern, with significantly lower employment rates in the southern and eastern parts of Europe than in the northern and western parts. The highest employment rates (over 85%) can be found in the smaller Islands of Faroe Islands, Åland and Iceland, as well as some regions in Switzerland. Several regions in Sweden, Germany, Norway and the UK also have employment rates over 80%. The lowest employment rates (under 55%) can be found in regions in Turkey, Italy, Greece and Spain.