The employment rate in the 20 to 64 age group stood at 76.8 percent in 2019, higher than the national European 2020 target of 70.0 percent. The latest Labour Force Survey by the National Statistics Office finds that the biggest growth was registered among females with a surge from 40 percent to 65 percent since 2009. The employment rate among men grew by five percent from almost 80 percent over the same period.
The service industries were the main contributors to the growth in employment in the six years from 2014. The share of employment in the services sector rose from 49.5 percent to 58.4 percent by the end of last year, nearly nine percent more than the average in the EU. The participation of women in this sector climbed by 11.1 percentage points to 57.1 percent after six years while the rate of men employed in services grew from 53.5 percent to 59.6 percent.
Meanwhile, total unemployment rates declined from almost seven percent in 2014 to 3.6 percent in 2019. The unemployment rate fell among both women and men, reaching 4.0 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively. Youth unemployment in 2019 stood at 5.2 percent in 2019, 0.8 percentage points lower than the EU average.
On the other hand, the rate of early school leavers was 9.9 percentage points higher than the average among EU members. At 17.2 percent, this rate remains above the national European 2020 target of 10.0 percent. Nevertheless, the rate is a decrease from 20.9 percent registered in 2014.