The number of employed persons increased by 2.2%, compared to 2017. In 2018 the ILO unemployment rate was 5.1%, 1.4 percentage points lower than in 2017.
The number of active persons (1,034,000) in 2018 increased by 0.7% compared to 2017. Among them, there were 981,000 employed persons and 53,000 unemployed persons. Among unemployed persons, were 48% men and 52% women. The number of unemployed man decreased by 19.2% and women by 23.6% compared to 2017. The number of inactive persons (724,000) decreased by 0.9% compared to 2017.
There were 832,000 employed persons in 2018, 1.5% more than in 2017. Among them, there were 95% employees in labour relation, 4% (31,000) student workers and 1% (9,000) employees in other forms of work. The total number of employees in labour relation (792,000) increased by 2.4% compared to the previous year. Among them the number of temporary employees decreased by 8% (by 8,000), while the number of permanent employees increased by 4% (by 27,000).
Among all employed persons, the highest increase in the number compared to 2017 was recorded among self-employed. Their number increased by 8.3%. In 2018 there were 122,000 self-employed, the highest number since we started to record the Labour Force Survey data.
ILO unemployment rate lower again, the employment rate the highest after 2009
The ILO unemployment rate decreased for the fifth consecutive year and stopped at 5.1% in 2018. It dropped by 1.4 percentage points compared to 2017. The highest ILO unemployment rate was recorded among young persons (15–29-year-olds); 9%. It has also been decreasing in the last years. Compared to 2013 (when it was the highest) it decreased by 10.1 percentage points.
In 2018, the employment rate was 55.8%, the highest since 2009. The employment rate of 20–64-year-olds is a Europe 2020 headline indicator for Strategic Plan 2016–2020 and one of the indicators of sustainable development. It was 75.4% in 2018, 2 percentage points higher than a year before.
Underemployment and potential additional labour force
The labour market is constantly subject to changes and consists of different types of work and employment. Besides the usually published data on the labour market, we looked at two additional subjects: underemployment and potential additional labour force.
Underemployment is a relatively new term. It indicates part-time workers who would wish to work more and are available to do so in the next two weeks. 89% (876,000) of employed persons worked full-time, while part-time employment represented 11% (105,000). Among the latter, we recorded 21,000 underemployed workers, i.e. 21% of all part-time workers, who usually worked less than 36 hours per week.
Potential additional labour force or potential additional active population could be found among inactive persons. Potential additional active population could be divided into two groups. The first group consists of those who are not seeking work but would want to work. There were 18,000 of those in 2018. The second group consists of those who seek work but are not immediately available. In 2018, there were around 4,000 of the latter. In total 3% of inactive persons represented potential additional labour force.
The categories of potential additional labour force and underemployed are supplementary forms of unemployment not covered by the International Labour Organisation definition of unemployment. In the whole European Union (in 2017) there were around 9 million underemployed and 10 million persons who were potential additional labour force.