22% of part-time workers in Malta would work more hours

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22% of part-time workers in Malta would work more hoursAmong part-time employed in the EU27, 21% would like to work more hours and are available to do so New labour market indicators released today

In the EU27, there were 41.3 million persons working part-time in 2010, of which three quarters were women. Among those employed part-time, 8.5 million, or 21%, wished to work more hours, were available to do so and can therefore be considered to be underemployed. The share of part-time workers who are underemployed was higher for men (27%) than for women (19%).

The largest proportions of people wishing to work more hours and available to do so among part-time workers were found in Latvia (65%), Greece (49%), Spain (46%), Bulgaria (39%) and Slovakia (38%), all Member States where the shares of employed persons working part-time are relatively low. On the other hand, the smallest proportion was found in the Netherlands (3%), where part-time working is most common, followed by Belgium (4%), the Czech Republic and Luxembourg (both 10%). Malta stood at 22%.

This information comes from two reports published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, based on the 2010 results of the European Labour Force Survey. These reports present three new indicators: “underemployed part-time workers”, “persons seeking work but not immediately available” and “persons available to work but not seeking.” These indicators provide an enhanced and richer picture of the labour market, by supplementing the existing information which classifies people as employed, unemployed or economically inactive.

A potential additional labour force of almost 11 million persons in the EU27

Among the economically inactive population (those persons neither employed nor unemployed), there were 8.2 million persons aged 15 to 74 available to work, but not seeking and 2.4 million seeking work, but not available in the EU27 in 2010. While considered to be economically inactive, both groups have a certain attachment to the labour market. Together these two groups constitute a potential additional labour force5 of 10.6 million people. In the EU27 these two groups were equivalent to 4.5% of the current labour force, a percentage varying between Member States, from 1.4% in the Czech Republic to 11.6% in Italy. Malta stood at (1.4%).*

* ( ) Data with reduced reliability due to sample size.

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