The job vacancy rate in the euro area (EA19) was 2.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018, up from 2.1% in the third quarter of 2018 and from 2.0% in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to figures published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the EU28, the job vacancy rate was also 2.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018, up from 2.2% in the third quarter of 2018 and from 2.0% in the fourth quarter of 2017.
In the euro area, the job vacancy rate in the fourth quarter of 2018 was 2.0% in industry and construction, and 2.6% in services. In the EU28,the rate was 2.1% in industry and construction, and 2.6% in services.
Among the Member States for which comparable data are available (see country notes), the highest job vacancy rates in the fourth quarter of 2018 were recorded in Czechia (6.0%), Belgium and Germany (both 3.4%) and Austria (3.1%). In contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Greece (0.4%), Bulgaria, Ireland, Spain and Portugal (all 0.9%).
Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, the job vacancy rate in the fourth quarter of 2018 rose in twenty Member States, remained stable in Belgium, Cyprus, Finland and Sweden, but fell in Estonia, Ireland, Croatia (all of them -0.1 percentage points, pp) and Lithuania (-0.2 pp). The largest increases were registered in Czechia (+1.6 pp), Austria (+0.8 pp), Malta (+0.7 pp) and Germany (+0.6 pp).
The euro area (EA19) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.
The European Union (EU28) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Methods and definitions
The job vacancy rate (JVR) measures the proportion of total posts that are vacant, expressed as a percentage:
JVR = (number of job vacancies) / (number of occupied posts + number of job vacancies).
A job vacancy is defined as a paid post (newly created, unoccupied or about to become vacant) for which the employer is taking active steps to find a suitable candidate from outside the enterprise concerned and is prepared to take more steps and which the employer intends to fill either immediately or in the near future. Under this definition, a job vacancy should be open to candidates from outside an enterprise. However, this does not exclude the possibility of the employer recruiting an internal candidate for the post. A vacant post that is open only to internal candidates should not be treated as a job vacancy. An occupied post is a paid post within an organisation to which an employee has been assigned.
Job vacancy rates cover NACE Rev. 2 sections B to S. This aggregate is referred to as “Whole economy” for the sake of simplification, even if agriculture, activities of households as employers and activities of extraterritorial organisations are excluded. NACE Rev. 2 sections B to S include the industry (B to E), construction (F) and services (G to N) sectors together with (mainly) non-market services (O to S).
The job vacancy rates for the EU and euro area aggregates are based on Member States data, including estimates for recent periods when values are not yet available. If national data are only available for a sub-population, for example excluding smaller units or some activities, this sub-population is used in the computation of the job vacancy rate for the aggregates.
Denmark, France, Italy and Malta: data are not strictly comparable. In France and Italy, only business units with 10 employees or more are surveyed. Moreover, in the case of public administration, education and human health (NACE Rev. 2 sections O, P and Q), public institutions are not covered. In Malta, only units with 10 employees or more are surveyed. In Denmark, only units within the business economy (NACE Rev 2 sections B to N) are surveyed.
Revisions and timetable
Compared with the rates published in News Release 194/2018 of 14 December 2018, the job vacancy rate for the third quarter of 2018 remains unchanged in both the euro area and the EU28.