The employment rate of women is progressing gradually in all the European countries. In 2017, the European average has reached 66.5%. However, this figure is still significantly below the average for male employment in 2017, which stands at 78.0%.
In the EU countries there are large differences between the employment rates of women: in eleven countries they exceed 70%, while in others they only reach around 50%.
Sweden is the most advanced country in labor participation of women with a rate of almost 80%. Next are Lithuania, Germany and Estonia with figures above 75%. Denmark and the United Kingdom share rates above 73%, while the Netherlands, Latvia and Finland exceed 72%.
Austria stands at 71.4%, while the Czech Republic, Portugal and Slovenia have rates close to 70%. Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Ireland and France are also among the seventeen countries with above-average female employment rates.
Below the average there are a number of countries that have recently joined the EU, but there is also Spain. Although the Spanish rate has been increasing in recent years and has exceeded 59% for the first time, we are still almost seven points below the EU average and far from the leading countries.
Encouraging greater labor participation of women is still a pending issue in Spain, as recently recalled by the International Monetary Fund.
(Source: Prepared by the authors based on data on “Employment rates of people aged 20 to 64 in the EU“, Eurostat)
Published by the Instituto de Estudios Económicos.