Iceland has highest employment rate in Europe

Published 21-05-2015
Employment rate (percentage) for women aged 55-64 years in 2014. Source: Eurostat
According to data published recently by Eurostat, Iceland had the highest share of employment among people aged 20 to 64 years in 2014, at 83.5%.The employment rates among the EFTA countries were generally high compared to the countries of the European Union (EU), particularly among women aged 55 to 64 years (see map).

In 2014, the employment rate in Switzerland among people aged 20 to 64 years was 82.3%, which was the second highest employment rate among all the EFTA and EU countries. The employment rate in Norway in 2014 was 79.6%. The average employment rate in the EU was 69.2%, with the highest rates in Sweden (80.0%) and Germany (77.7%) and the lowest in Greece (53.3%).

Switzerland had the highest employment rate for men in 2014, at 87.1%. The highest employment rate for women was found in Iceland, where 80.5% of women were employed.

The differences in employment rates between men and women were relatively small in Norway (4.8 percentage points) and Iceland (6.0 percentage points). In Switzerland, the difference was 9.7 percentage points, below the EU average of 11.5 percentage points. In the EU, the overall employment rate was 75.0% for men and 63.5% for women.

The employment rates among people aged 55 to 64 years in the EFTA countries were especially high compared to those in the EU. In Iceland, 87.1% of all men and 80.1% of all women in this age group were employed in 2014.

The employment rates for people aged 55 to 64 years in Norway were 75.8% for men and 68.5% for women, and in Switzerland 78.7% for men and 64.4% for women. By comparison, the average employment rates for this age group in the EU were 58.9% for men and 45.2% for women.

This information is based on the results of the European Labour Force Survey 2014. No figures are available for Liechtenstein, as it did not participate in the survey.

For further information, see Eurostat's news release 81/2015 and a dedicated article on Labour market and Labour force survey (LFS) statistics. Eurostat's Regional Statistics Illustrated provides interactive maps of regional employment rates in the EFTA and EU countries. 

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