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Europeans at Work

Working in Europe is an attractive option for many, and for good reasons.


Employment and the creation of more and better jobs for its citizens are top priorities for the EU. The Union must also help provide equal opportunities, so that everyone who wants to can work. The aim is to raise the number of people of working age with jobs to the level of 70% of the working-age population by 2010.


In the 1950s, more than 20% of the EU’s population worked in farming and around 40% in industry. Since then, employment in agriculture and industry has fallen while the number of jobs in the services sector has soared. By 2004, more than two thirds of jobs in the 25-nation EU were in the services sector. The figure for agriculture was 5.0% and for industry 27.9%.


Recent figures show that, while employment levels continue to rise in services and fall in agriculture, the number of industrial jobs has remained relatively stable.


In 2006, 65.4% of people of working age in the EU-27 had jobs. The level was highest in Denmark and lowest in Poland. It is also different for men and for women.


Tackling unemployment is vital for the EU. The unemployment rate varies from one country and region to another. In 2007, the Netherlands and Denmark had the lowest level of unemployment, while Slovakia had the highest.


Overall, 7.1% of the EU’s labour force in the EU-27 was unemployed in 2007, compared with 4.6 % in the United States.


In all EU countries, women earn (on average) less than men. The gender pay gap is widest in Estonia and Cyprus, where women earned 25% less than men. It is narrowest (4%) in Malta. If the EU is to increase its working population, better pay and conditions are needed to attract more women into the labour market. The average gender pay gap in the EU narrowed from 17% to 15% between 1998 and 2006.


The EU must also keep both men and women working longer. It is making a special effort to help people of all ages to find jobs and keep them. That includes policies to encourage part-time work and to remove conflicting pressures between work and family life.


In each age bracket, more men than women have jobs in the EU. This is sometimes due to discrimination in the workplace, sometimes the result of personal choice or cultural traditions.


Nevertheless, gender equality is observed in the EU so any form of gender discrimination can be brought up to relevant authorities. Overall, finding employment in the EU shouldn't be a problem as the EU deals with unemployment as top priority.

Source: Europa

EU Jobs


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