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How common – and how voluntary – is part-time employment?

eurostat, (2018), “How common – and how voluntary – is part-time employment?”, 8 June

43 million persons aged 15 to 64 in the European Union (EU) worked part-time in 2017. This represents one in five (19.4%) persons having a job in the EU. Part-time employment as a percentage of total employment has fluctuated between 15.6% and 19.6% over the last 15 years in the EU.

In 2017, this proportion was still much higher for women (31.7%) than for men (8.8%). It was also slightly higher in the euro area (21.6%) than in the EU (19.4%).

Highest share of part-time employment in the Netherlands; lowest in Bulgaria.

Across the EU Member States, part-time employment was by far the most common in the Netherlands, with half (49.8%) of all employed persons aged 15 to 64 working part-time in 2017. After the Netherlands, about one in four employed persons worked part-time in Austria (27.9%), Germany (26.9%), Denmark (25.3%), the United Kingdom (24.9), Belgium (24.5%) and Sweden (23.3%).

At the opposite end of the scale, part-time employment accounted for less than 5% of all employment in Bulgaria (2.2%), Hungary (4.3%) and Croatia (4.8%). Low shares were also recorded in Slovakia (5.8%), the Czech Republic (6.2%), Poland (6.6%), Romania (6.8%), Lithuania (7.6%) and Latvia (7.7%).

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