Underemployment in the UK and Europe

Almost 10 million part-time workers in the EU would have preferred to work more: Eurostat Labour Force Survey 2014

  • Over 1.8 million UK part-time workers were underemployed in 2014. Underemployed part-time workers are persons aged 15-74 working part-time who wish to work additional hours and are available to do so. Part-time work is recorded as self-reported by individuals
  • 64% of those underemployed UK workers were women
  • Among the 44.1 million persons in the European Union (EU) working part-time in 2014, 9.8 million were underemployed

UK becoming the ‘self-employment capital’ of Western Europe

Job growth in UK fuelled by fastest growth of self-employment in Europe

  • Growth in self-employment in the UK has been the fastest of all Western European countries over the last year, with the proportion of workers who are self-employed rising by almost a whole percentage point.
  • The UK had internationally low levels of self-employment for many years but has caught up with the EU average
  • Self-employment has proven to be a key driver of overall job creation, with the working-age employment rate reaching historically high levels.

European retail trade volumes

European retail trade volumes, May 2014: Eurostat

  • In May 2014 compared with April 2014, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade remained stable in the euro area (EA18) and fell by 0.1% in the EU28.
  • In April retail trade decreased by 0.2% in the euro area and rose by 0.2% in the EU28.
  • In May 2014 compared with May 2013 the retail sales index increased by 0.7% in the euro area and by 1.2% in the EU28.

European unemployment rates

European unemployment rates, May 2014: Eurostat

  • The euro area (EA18) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.6% in May 2014, stable compared with April 2014, but down from 12.0% in May 2013.
  • The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.3% in May 2014, down from 10.4% in April 2014, and from 10.9% in May 2013.
  • 25.184 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 18.552 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in May 2014.
  • Compared with April 2014, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 63 000 in the EU28 and by 28 000 in the euro area.
  • Compared with May 2013, unemployment fell by 1.361 million in the EU28 and by 636 000 in the euro area.

European GDP up

European GDP up, Q1: Eurostat

  • Seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.2% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.3% in the EU28 during the first quarter of 2014, compared with the previous quarter.
  • In the fourth quarter of 2013, GDP grew by 0.2% in the euro area and by 0.4% in the EU28.
  • Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.9% in the euro area and by 1.4% in the EU28 in the first quarter of 2014, after +0.5% and +1.0% respectively in the previous quarter.

European inflation down

European annual inflation, March 2014: Eurostat

  • Euro area annual inflation was 0.5% in March 2014, down from 0.7% in February.
    • A year earlier the rate was 1.7%.
    • Monthly inflation was 0.9% in March 2014.
  • European Union annual inflation was 0.6% in March 2014, down from 0.8% in February.
    • A year earlier the rate was 1.9%.
    • Monthly inflation was 0.7% in March 2014.

Labour force stats – Europe

Labour Force Survey 2013: Eurostat

In 2013 in the EU28 these were:

  • 216.4 million persons in employment
  • 26.2 million unemployed
  • 137.2 million economically inactive
  • 43.7 million of those in employment were part-time workers, of which 9.9 million (23% of part-time workers) are underemployed, meaning they wished to work more hours and were available to do so