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Activity rate for non-EU citizens lower than for nationals

Staff writer |
In 2015 in the European Union (EU), the proportion of people economically active (employed and unemployed) stood just below 70% for non-EU citizens aged 20 to 64 (69.8%).

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The activity rate was above 77% for citizens of the reporting country (77.3%), referred to as “nationals”.

A similar pattern is observed in most EU Member States. In detail, non-EU citizens aged 20 to 64 were faced with a notably higher unemployment rate and lower employment rate than nationals.

The picture was very different when analysing the labour market situation of nationals compared with that of citizens of another EU Member State.

In a majority of Member States, the activity rate of nationals was higher than for non-EU citizens, except in particular in Greece (72.6% for nationals compared with 80.7% for non-EU citizens) and Slovenia (75.7% vs. 83.5%), followed by Slovakia (76.2% vs. 81.3%), Italy (67.9% vs. 72.6%), Spain (78.7% vs. 82.0%), Cyprus (79.3% vs. 81.5%), Portugal (79.0% vs. 80.9%), the Czech Republic (78.7% vs. 79.2%) and Hungary (73.8% vs. 74.1%).

In 2015 across Member States, the most significant differences between the activity rates for non-EU citizens and for nationals were recorded in the Netherlands (59.7% for non-EU citizens compared with 82.2% for nationals, or -22.5 percentage points), Finland (-18.8 pp) and Germany (-18.3 pp), followed by France (-15.7 pp), Denmark (-15.6 pp), Sweden (-15.3 pp) and Belgium (-14.6 pp).

On average in the EU, the difference between the activity rate for non-EU citizens (69.8%) and for citizens of the reporting country (77.3%) was -7.5 percentage points in 2015.

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