Quality of work and employment 2006

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This report gives an overview of EU-level data in the four key dimensions of quality in work and employment: career and employment security, health and well-being, skills development, and work-life balance. The data are sourced from relevant surveys at European level.

 

 


Introduction

The statistical analysis and presentation of survey data follows the quality of work and employment matrix developed by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions in its paper Quality of work and employment in Europe: Issues and challenges. This model distinguishes four key dimensions for the promotion of quality in work and employment:

  • ensuring career and employment security;
  • maintaining and promoting the health and well-being of workers;
  • developing skills and competences;
  • reconciling working and non-working life.

The national survey data reports of the European Working Conditions Observatory (EWCO) have mainly focused on one national survey and its findings. This EU-level survey data report, however, analyses and presents selected data from relevant surveys at European level.

Key results of the statistical analysis are based on the European Labour Force Survey (LFS), the European Community Household Panel (ECHP), and relevant specific data collections provided by Eurostat. Further details on these surveys may be found in the Appendix at the end of this report. This brief publication highlights selected data and survey results.

 

 


Career and employment

The section on career and employment covers data on employment growth, inactivity in the labour market, contractual status, female managers and the gender pay gap.

Employment growth

Table 1 reveals a slowdown in the rates of employment growth between 2000 and 2004. In fact, employment rates for men remained stagnant in 2002 and 2003.

Table 1: Rates of employment growth, by sex (%)
Rates of employment growth, by sex (%)
  2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
EU25          
Total 1.5 1.4 0.5 0.3 0.6
Women 2.3 1.9 1.2 0.7 1.1
Men 0.9 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.1
EU15          
Total 2.2 1.5 0.7 0.3 0.7
Women 3.1 2.1 1.5 0.8 1.4
Men 1.5 1.1 0.1 0.0 0.1

Source: European Commission, Employment and Social Affairs DG, Indicators for monitoring the Employment Guidelines 2005 compendium, Update 15 May 2006; based on Eurostat, Quarterly LFS data

Inactivity

Illness and disability is the reason for inactivity in the labour market for 13.2% of the working age population, while family responsibility is the reason for inactivity among 16.1% of this group (Table 2).

Table 2: Reasons for labour market inactivity among working age population (15-64 years), EU25, 2004 (%)
Reasons for labour market inactivity among working age population (15-64 years), EU25, 2004 (%)
Reasons %
Discouraged 4.5
Illness/disability 13.2
Family responsibility 16.1
Retirement 20.5
Education or training 32.5
Other 13.2

Note: Data for BE, FR, IE not available.

Source: Employment in Europe 2005; based on LFS

Illness or disability as a reason for inactivity varies considerably between countries, ranging from 5.2% in Greece to 36.5% in Sweden (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Inactivity due to illness or disability among working age population (15-64 years), 2004 (%)

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Note: Data for BE, FR, IE not available.

Source: Employment in Europe 2005; based on LFS

Youth unemployment

In the EU25, the youth unemployment rate was 18.5% in 2005. At national level, the rate ranges from 8.2% in the Netherlands to 36.9% in Poland (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Youth unemployment, EU25, 2005 (%)

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Notes: Unemployment rate of population aged less than 25 years. Data for SE provisional.

Source: Eurostat, Structural indicators, 2006

Employment contracts

Fixed-term contracts are widespread in Spain (32.5%), Poland (22.7%) and Portugal (19.8%) but are not common in Luxembourg (4.9%), Ireland (4.1%) and Estonia (2.6%) (Figure 3). In the majority of countries, more women than men are affected by non-permanent contracts.

Figure 3: Employees with fixed-term contracts, by sex, EU25, 2004 (%)

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Note: MT no reliable data.

Source: EU Labour Force Survey, Principal results 2004

Some 66.4% of fixed-term contracts last up to 12 months. For women, 68.3% of fixed-term contracts have a duration of a year or less; for men, this rate is 64.5% (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Duration of fixed-term contracts, by sex, EU25, 2004 (%)

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Source: Employment in Europe 2005; based on LFS

Gender and management positions

In the second quarter of 2005, women occupied only 32.1% of management positions in the EU25. The proportion of women in such positions varies from 44.3% in Latvia to 13.6% in Cyprus (Figure 5).

Figure 5: Proportion of female managers among total managers, 2nd quarter 2005 (%)

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Source: Eurostat, ‘A statistical view of the life of women and men in the EU25’, News release 6 March 2006

Pay equity

In 2005, the gender pay gap was still 15% in the EU25. It was relatively low in Malta (4%), Portugal (5%) and Belgium (6%) but very high - with a rate of between 23% and 25% - in Germany, Slovakia, Estonia and Cyprus (Figure 6).

Figure 6: Gender pay gap, 2nd quarter 2005 (%)

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Notes: EU25 estimated. IE and IT provisional.

Source: Eurostat, ‘A statistical view of the life of women and men in the EU25’, News release 6 March 2006

Job satisfaction

Table 3 shows almost no change between 1999 and 2001 in satisfaction levels with the work in the present job among the working population in the EU15. The average for 2001 was 4.5 points, based on a scale from 1 for very low to 6 for very high in 2001.

Table 3: Job satisfaction in the EU15 (%)
Satisfaction with type of work in present job, EU15 (%)
  1999 2000 2001
Very low (%) 3 3 2
Low (%) 5 6 5
Rather low (%) 11 11 11
Rather high (%) 24 25 25
High (%) 40 40 40
Very high (%) 17 17 17
Average (1-6 point scale) 4.4 4.4 4.5

Source: European Commission, Employment and Social Affairs DG, Indicators for monitoring the Employment Guidelines 2005 compendium, Update 15 May 2006; based on Eurostat, European Community Household Panel (ECHP)



Health and well-being

Maintaining and promoting the health and well-being of workers is an area that takes into account physical, mental and social well-being.

Structural indicators on serious and fatal accidents at work monitor this aspect of health and well-being. Figure 7 shows a decrease in serious accidents at work from 1998 to 2003. However, the data reveal an increase in serious accidents at work in the case of women between 1999 and 2001, and a widening gap in the rate of accidents between women and men.

Figure 7: Serious accidents at work, by sex, EU25 (1998=100)

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Notes: Index of the number of serious accidents at work (with more than 3 days absence) per 100,000 persons in employment. 2003 data provisional.

Source: Eurostat, Structural indicators, 2006

The index of fatal accidents at work steadily decreased to a value of 77 in 2003 (Table 4).

Table 4: Fatal accidents at work, EU25 (1998=100)
Fatal accidents at work, EU25 (1998=100)
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
100 88 87 85 80 77

Source: Eurostat, Structural indicators, 2006

In 2007, a specific ad hoc module to the LFS will be conducted on accidents at work and work-related health problems.



Skills development

Key aspects of the section on developing skills and competences are educational level, the proportion of early school leavers and lifelong learning.

Educational attainment level

Figure 8 illustrates the impact of educational attainment on employment rates for both women and men. In contrast to men, who record an employment rate of 57% for workers with the lowest education level, women with the same educational level have an employment rate of only 36%.

Figure 8: Highest level of educational attainment and employment rates, by sex, EU25, 2004 (%)

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Note: ISCED 1997 levels 0-2: Pre-primary, primary and lower secondary education; 3-4: Upper secondary and post-secondary (non-tertiary) education; 5-6: Tertiary education.

Source: Employment in Europe 2005; based on LFS

Early school leavers

Malta (41.2%), Portugal (38%) and Spain (30.8%) have the highest rates of early school leavers, while Poland (5.5%) Slovakia (5.8%) and the Czech Republic (8.4%) record the lowest rates of people leaving school early.

Figure 9: Early school leavers, EU25, 2005 (%)

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Notes: No figure for SI due to unreliable or uncertain data; ES: Break in series; PT and SE provisional.

Source: Eurostat, Structural Indicators, 2006

In the EU25, the rate of early school leavers decreased from 17.7% in 2000 to 15.2% in 2005 but is still considerably above the target to reduce this rate to no more than 10%. Figure 10 reveals a considerably higher percentage of male than female early school leavers.

Figure 10: Early school leavers, by sex, EU25 (%)

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Notes: Early school leavers: Percentage of the population aged 18-24 years with at most lower secondary education and not in further education or training. 2000, 2001: Estimated value; 2003: Break in series.

Source: Eurostat, Structural indicators, 2006

Lifelong learning

In 2003, the LFS included an ad hoc module on lifelong learning. In the EU25, 42% of the population aged between 25 and 64 years participated in some form of training or education. The percentage for men was slightly higher than for women, ranging from 12% in Hungary to 89% in Austria (Figure 11).

Figure 11: Participation in some form of learning, EU25, 2003 (%)

eu0609sr01.tmp10.jpg

Source: Eurostat, Statistics in focus, Lifelong learning in Europe, 8/2005; LFS, ad hoc module on lifelong learning, 2003

A breakdown by age and sex shows that younger age groups participate to a significantly higher degree in training and education than older age groups. While there are few differences between women and men in the 25-54 year age groups, the gender gap is just over 10% in the 55-64 year age group.

Figure 12: Participation in some form of learning, by age and sex, 2003 (%)

eu0609sr01.tmp11.jpg

Source: Eurostat, Statistics in focus, Lifelong learning in Europe, 8/2005; LFS, ad hoc module on lifelong learning, 2003

The LFS ad hoc module on lifelong learning included questions on formal, non-formal, and informal education and training.

Non-formal education and training includes all types of taught learning and activities that are not part of a formal education programme. Informal learning is defined as self-learning that is not part of either formal or non-formal education and training.

Table 5 reveals marked differences in participation in non-formal learning in relation to occupational status and level of educational attainment in all EU25 countries. Differences between high and low skilled categories are considerable among white-collar workers and less significant among blue-collar workers.

Table 5: Participation in non-formal learning, by occupational status, EU25, 2003 (%)
Participation in non-formal learning, by occupational status, EU25, 2003 (%)
  White-collar worker Blue-collar worker
  High skilled Low skilled High skilled Low skilled
EU25 30 19 12 10
AT 44 30 22 15
BE 36 25 14 12
CY 50 25 10 5
CZ 24 13 10 13
DE 24 13 9 5
DK 24 13 9 5
EE 32 19 9 4
EL 12 8 1 2
ES 19 13 7 6
FI 62 50 35 31
FR 35 23 15 15
HU 10 7 3 4
IE 22 15 12 10
IT 14 6 3 3
LT 25 5 2 3
LU 30 19 9 6
LV 35 16 6 5
MT 24 11 6 6
NL 16 12 11 7
PL 29 12 6 8
PT 21 13 4 6
SE 67 48 37 33
SI 48 29 19 12
SK 40 19 24 24
UK 54 41 26 21

Note: Target population: 25-64 years old.

Source: Eurostat, Statistics in focus, Lifelong learning in Europe, 8/2005; LFS, ad hoc module on lifelong learning, 2003

Figure 13 shows the significant impact of educational level on participation in informal learning across the EU25 countries. The participation rate varies from 86% in Austria to 6% in Hungary.

Figure 13: Participation in informal learning, by educational level, 2003 (%)

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Notes: Target population: 25-64 years old; No data given for UK.

Source: Eurostat, Statistics in focus, Lifelong learning in Europe, 8/2005; LFS, ad hoc module on lifelong learning, 2003



Work-life balance

Key aspects of the section on work-life balance include data on working time, reconciliation of working and non-working life, and part-time work.

Hours worked

Eurostat provides data on both the usual and actual hours worked. Table 6 reveals longer usual weekly working hours for male than for female full-time employees.

Table 6: Usual hours worked per week, EU25
Usual hours worked per week, EU25
  Women Men Total
2003 38.9 41.0 40.2
2004 39.0 41.2 40.3

Note: Average weekly number of hours usually worked per week defined as the sum of hours worked by full-time employees divided by the number of full-time employees, EU25.

Source: European Commission, Employment and Social Affairs DG, Indicators for monitoring the Employment Guidelines 2005 compendium, Update 15 May 2006; based on Eurostat, LFS

The gender differences in the actual weekly working hours are even more pronounced, with women working substantially fewer hours than men, although there is little difference among those working part time (Table 7).

Table 7: Average actual hours worked per week in the main job, by sex and working time arrangement, EU25
Average actual hours worked per week in the main job, by sex and working time arrangement, EU25
  Total Full-time Part-time
Women 33.2 39.3 20.5
Men 41.1 42.8 20.3
Total 37.7 41.5 20.4

Source: Statistics in focus, Population and social conditions, 11/2006; based on LFS quarterly, fourth quarter, 2005

Overtime work

Men do more overtime work than women (Table 8). In 2004, men worked 5.4 hours weekly in overtime compared to 3.4 hours for women. Overtime work appears to be on the increase for both sexes.

Table 8: Overtime work, EU25
Overtime work, EU25
  Women Men Total
2003 3.0 4.9 4.0
2004 3.4 5.4 4.5

Note: Number of employees for whom the number of hours actually worked exceeds the number of hours usually worked due to overtime as a % of all employees by gender, EU25.

Source: European Commission, Employment and Social Affairs DG, Indicators for monitoring the Employment Guidelines 2005 compendium, Update 15 May 2006; based on Eurostat, LFS

Employment and family status

Table 9 shows the strong impact of children on labour market inactivity rates among women. The inactivity rates of men appear not to be dependent on the presence of children in the household, with the exception of single parents.

Table 9: Impact of children on labour market participation, EU25, 2004
Impact of children on labour market participation, EU25, 2004
Parents Women Men
  Total 1 child 2 or more Total 1 child 2 or more
Parents of children aged <15 years 29.0 24.0 34.4 4.2 4.5 4.0
Youngest child 0-6 years 34.7 27.2 39.6 3.7 3.5 3.9
Youngest child 7-14 years 22.7 21.8 24.3 4.9 5.3 4.2
             
Single parents of children <15 years 25.7 20.1 35.3 13.3 12.4 15.5
Youngest child 0-6 years 34.8 25.7 43.9 12.3 11.3 (13.7)
Youngest child 7-14 years 19.3 17.4 24.3 13.9 12.8 17.1
             
Persons living with a spouse and children <15 years 29.6 24.8 34.3 4.1 4.3 3.8
Youngest child 0-6 years 34.7 27.4 39.2 3.6 3.4 3.8
Youngest child 7-14 years 23.4 22.9 24.3 4.6 5.1 3.9

Notes: Inactivity rates of persons aged 25-54 years, by family situation, and by age and number of children. Excluding Denmark, Ireland, Sweden; Figures in brackets'()'lack reliability due to reduced sample size.

Source: Statistics in focus, Population and social conditions 2/2006; based on LFS

Part-time work

Figure 14 illustrates the large proportion of part-time work in female employment, at 32.6% for women and 7.3% for men in the EU25. The proportion of women working part time is extremely high in the Netherlands (75.3%) and quite high in Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden and Austria.

Figure 14: Part-time work as a proportion of total employment, 2nd quarter 2005 (%)

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Source: Eurostat, ‘A statistical view of the life of women and men in the EU25’, News release 6 March 2006

 

Anni Weiler, AWWW GmbH ArbeitsWelt - Working World



References

European Commission, Employment and Social Affairs DG, Indicators for monitoring the Employment Guidelines 2005 compendium , Update 15 May 2006, available at: http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/employment_strategy/pdf/compendium_may_2006_en.pdf

Eurostat, A statistical view of the life of women and men in the EU25 , News release 29/2006, 6 March 2006, available at: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/PGP_PRD_CAT_PREREL/ PGE_CAT_PREREL_YEAR_2006/PGE_CAT_PREREL_YEAR_2006_MONTH_03/3-06032006-EN-BP1.PDF

Eurostat, Labour force survey in the EU, candidate and EFTA countries: Main characteristics of the national surveys 2004 , Luxembourg, Office of the Official Publications of the European Communities, 2005, available at: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-BF-06-001/EN/KS-BF-06-001-EN.PDF

Eurostat, The continuity of indicators during the transition between ECHP and EU-SILC , Luxembourg, Office of the Official Publications of the European Communities, 2005, available at: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-CC-05-006/EN/KS-CC-05-006-EN.PDF

Hardason, Ó., People outside the labour force: Declining inactivity rates , Eurostat, Statistics in focus, Population and Social Conditions, 2/2006, available at: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-NK-06-002/EN/KS-NK-06-002-EN.PDF

Kailis, E. and Pilos, S., Lifelong learning in Europe , Eurostat, Statistics in focus, Population and Social Conditions, 8/2005, available at: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-NK-05-008/EN/KS-NK-05-008-EN.PDF

Romans, F., and Hardarson, Ó., Labour market latest trends, Fourth quarter 2005 data, Increasing trend for the employment rate , Eurostat, Statistics in focus, Population and Social Conditions, 11/2006, available at: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-NK-06-011/EN/KS-NK-06-011-EN.PDF

Weiler, A., Annual review of working conditions in the EU: 2005-2006 , European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Dublin, 2006, available at: /ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/annual-review-of-working-conditions-in-the-eu-2005-2006



Appendix: Methodology

European Labour Force Survey (LFS)

The 2003 LFS was conducted by Eurostat in the 25 Member States of the EU, three EFTA countries and two candidate countries. The LFS is a large household sample survey, providing quarterly results on labour participation of people aged 15 years and over, and on people outside the labour market.

Detailed information on the survey method and definitions can be found in the publications: The European Union labour force survey - Methods and definitions 2001 (778Kb PDF) and Labour force survey in the acceding countries - Methods and definitions 2002 (451Kb PDF).

The latest available print publication is the LFS results for 2002 (451Kb PDF).

Since 2003, the LFS provides both quarterly and annual results.

Specific ad hoc modules are carried out on particular issues. The ad hoc module on participation in lifelong learning was included in the EU Labour Force Survey 2003.

European Community Household Panel (ECHP)

The European Community Household Panel (ECHP) is an annual survey of representative panel households and individuals, carried out by Eurostat. It is based on a standardised questionnaire, covering a wide range of topics, such as income, health, education, housing, demographic and employment characteristics.

It was initiated in 1994 in the 12 EU Member States at the time. The first survey covered 60,500 nationally represented households, i.e. approximately 130,000 adults aged 16 years and over.

Key features of the ECHP are:

  • multidimensional and simultaneous coverage of a range of topics;
  • standardised methodology and procedures across the countries;
  • longitudinal or panel design in which information on the same set of households and persons is collected in order to study changes over time at a micro level.

The ECHP was replaced by the Community Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) , which was launched in 2003 and will include the EU25.

EF/06/60/EN

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