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Nearly 70% now work in the EU’s service sector

Almost 70% of employed persons (which includes both employees and self-employed) in the 27 EU member countries, worked within the service sector in 2011. This was a sharp increase from the 62% recorded in 2000. These figures are according to the Labour Force Survey and have been made available this month by Eurostat.

The proportion working in the service sector continues to grow in the EU27

There is a distinction made in the service sector between those working in market services and those in non-market services. Market services include areas such as trade, transportation and financial activities. Non-market services include occupations such as public administration, education and health.

In 2011, market services accounted for 39% of all employees in the EU27, whilst mainly non-market services accounted for 30%. The industry and construction sector accounted for 25% and agriculture for 5%.

However, there are very wide disparities in the employment make-up between EU countries. For example, less than 2% of persons employed in Malta, Luxembourg, the UK, Belgium and Germany worked in agriculture. By contrast, the figures were 29% in Romania, 13% in Poland and 12% in Greece.

When examining the proportions working in industry there were variations between 13% in Luxembourg and 17% in the Netherlands to 38% in the Czech Republic and 37% in Slovakia.

The number of hours worked per week by full-time employees in the EU also shows diversity. The UK has the longest working hours for full-time employees at 42.2 hours per week, followed by Austria (41.8), and Cyprus and Portugal (both 41.1). The shortest working weeks were in Denmark (37.7), Ireland (38.4) and Italy (38.8).

The average in 2011 throughout the EU27 was 40.4 hours a week, with women averaging 39.3 hours and men 41.1hours.

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Posted in Employment, European Union

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