Women in the labor market by country of birth – Products Eurostat News

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Eurostat presents statistics on the participation of foreign-born and native-born women in the labor market. In the EU in 2020, women born outside the EU had the lowest employment rate (53%), while women born in the country and in the EU (except the country declaring ) had similar employment rates (about 68%). This is one of the key labor market figures on foreign and native born women.

This article is part of a series of articles published in the run-up to International Women’s Day.

Source datasets: lfsa_argacob, lfsa_ergacob, lfsa_eppgacob, lfsa_etpgacob, lfsa_urgacob, lfsa_upgacob

When comparing labor market figures for foreign-born women (both EU and non-EU born) and native-born women in 2020, non-EU born women had the labor force participation rate the lowest (62%). In contrast, EU-born women had the highest activity rate (74%), followed closely by native-born women (73%). Women born outside the EU also experienced the highest unemployment rate (16%), followed by women born in another EU Member State (9%) and women born in the country (6 %). Furthermore, long-term unemployment was lowest among EU-born women (33%), as opposed to non-EU-born women (37%) and native-born women (38%).

The labor market conditions of employed women also differ. In 2020, the share of part-time employees was highest for non-EU born women (39%), compared to EU born women (37%) and native born women ( 28%). The highest share of temporary employees was also among women born outside the EU (21%), compared to women born elsewhere in the EU (14%) and native-born women (13% ).

Scatter plot: female employment rate by country of birth, 2020, women aged 20-64, in %

Source dataset: lfsa_ergacob

Among EU Member States, the countries with the highest employment rates for women born outside the EU were Estonia and Czechia (72% each), followed by Portugal (71%) . The lowest employment rates for the same group were recorded in Greece and Belgium (around 42% each), followed by Italy (45%). In all but three EU Member States for which data are available, the employment rate of non-EU-born women was lower than that of native-born women. The gap was most pronounced in Sweden, Belgium, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria and Finland, with differences of 20 percentage points (pp) or more between the two groups.

The country with the highest employment rate for EU-born women was Malta (84%), followed by Sweden (79%) and Portugal (77%). The lowest employment rate for the same group was recorded in Greece (49%), followed by Italy (52%) and Spain (59%). In Malta, the rate for women born elsewhere in the EU was 18 pp higher than for women born in the country. Slovakia, Portugal, Luxembourg and Hungary all recorded differences of 5 pp or more in the same direction. By contrast, in Lithuania, the employment rate for EU-born women was 12 pp lower than the rate for native-born women.

Finally, the country with the highest employment rate for native-born women is Sweden (84%), followed by Germany (80%) and the Netherlands (78%). The lowest employment rate for the same group was recorded in Greece (53%), followed by Italy (54%) and Romania (61%).

For more information:

Methodological notes:

  • Bulgaria and Poland: data on EU-born women not available.
  • Romania: Data for women born in the EU and outside the EU are not available.
  • Bulgaria: Data for women born outside the EU are unreliable.
  • Lithuania: Data for women born in the EU are unreliable.

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