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European Employment Barometer Q3: agency work hours continue to fall

The European Employment Barometer, the online data tool developed by Staffing Industry Analysts and the World Employment Confederation, has been updated with employment data for the second quarter of 2019 and agency work data for the third quarter of the year. Despite a slow down of the growth of total employment in the EU28, the employment rate jumped up to 69.3%. The number of hours worked by agency workers in Europe continues to fall on a year-on-year basis, except in Spain and Italy.

Published on 22nd November 2019

The European Employment Barometer provides data on total employment, temporary employment, agency work and freelance work. The latest update of November 2019 reveals the following findings:

Total and temporary employment (Eurostat figures, Q2 2019)
  • Growth of total employment in EU28 slowed down to 0.8% in the second quarter of 2019 (from 1% in the previous quarter) compared to the same quarter in 2018. At the same time, the employment rate jumped up to 69.3%.
  • The share of temporary employees as a percentage of total employment stood at 13.7% in Q2 2019. The number of temporary employees is slightly up compared to the previous quarter, although temporary employment continues to fall when looking at year-on-year changes.
Agency work (WEC-Europe data, Q3 2019)
  • The number of hours worked by agency workers in Europe continues to fall on a year-on-year basis, having declined by 3.8% in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the same quarter of the previous year.
  • The Barometer now also includes the Austrian agency work market, which follows the European trend.
  • Exceptions are Italy and Spain, where hours worked in Q3 2019 are up year-on-year. Similarly, sales revenues of the agency work sector are down in most countries, with the exception of Italy and Spain.
Freelance work (Online Labour Index)
  • The OLI, which tracks freelance activity on online work platforms, is at its highest level since its inception in May 2016, having reached 143.6 as of November 20th, 2019.

About the European Employment Barometer

The European Employment Barometer is an online interactive research tool developed by Staffing Industry Analysts and the World Employment Confederation which can be used to track data and market trends related to the employment situation and agency work in Europe as well as data on freelance work at global level. The provided metrics can also be used to correlate indicators with economic factors to illustrate relationships between economic trends and temporary agency work; and to compare cross sections of specific data. The Barometer is based on Eurostat figures, data provided by the national staffing associations that are members of the World Employment Confederation-Europe and the Online Labour Index (OLI) from the Oxford Internet Institute. It is updated every quarter with the latest available data.

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