European Neighbourhood Policy - East - labour market statistics

From Statistics Explained

Data from September 2013. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.

This article is part of an online publication and presents statistics on the labour force in the six countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy – East (ENP-East). These are Armenia (AM), Azerbaijan (AZ), Belarus (BY), Georgia (GE), Moldova (MD) and Ukraine (UA).

This article provides information on economic activity, by gender; the employment gender gap; employment by economic activity and professional status, and unemployment.

Figure 1: Economic activity rate by gender, 2012 (1) - (%)
Source: for the EU aggregates, Eurostat (lfsi_act_a), for the ENP-East countries, Eurostat (enpr_pslm)
Figure 2: Employment rate gender gap (1) - (percentage points)
Source: for the EU aggregates, Eurostat (lfsi_emp_a), for the ENP-East countries, Eurostat (enpr_siemp)
Table 3: Employment by economic activity - (% of total employment)
Source: for the EU aggregates, Eurostat (lfsa_egana) and (lfsa_egan2), for the ENP-East countries, Eurostat (enpr_ecnabrk)
Table 4: Employment by professional status (1) - (%)
Source: for the EU aggregates, Eurostat (lfsa_egaps), for the ENP-East countries, Eurostat (enpr_pslm)
Table 5: Unemployment rate - (% of the total labour force)
Source: for the EU aggregates, Eurostat (lfsa_urgan), for the ENP-East countries, Eurostat (enpr_pslm)
Table 6: Long term unemployment rate - (%)
Source: for the EU aggregates, Eurostat (une_ltu_a), for the ENP-East countries, Eurostat (enpr_sisoc)

Main statistical findings

Except for Moldova, activity rates in the ENP-East countries were not very different from those in the EU-28

With the exception of Moldova (47 %) more than 70 % of men in the 15-64 age group were considered economically active in the ENP-East countries in 2012, as was the case in most EU Member States (Figure 1). In general, the rate in the ENP-East countries was below the 78 % recorded for the EU-28, except for Georgia where the rate was 5.6 percentage points higher. In all ENP-East countries (except Azerbaijan and Belarus) the activity rate of women was lower than in the EU-28 (65 %). Moldova, in particular, had a relatively low female activity rate (44 %), around 21 percentage points below the EU-28 level. In all ENP-East countries (except Belarus), men were more economically active than women. The gender gap in activity rates ranged from 3.4 percentage points in Moldova to 20.4 percentage points in Georgia while the gap was 12.4 percentage points in the EU-28.

The gap between the employment rate of men and women is much higher in the ENP-South countries than in the EU-28

In three of the ENP-East countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), the gender gap in employment rate widened during the ten years between 2002 and 2012 (Figure 2), while it narrowed in the other three (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus). The gender gap was lowest in Moldova (2 percentage points in 2012) and the highest in Georgia (15.7 percentage points in 2012) and Armenia (15.3 percentage points), where, the employment gap was higher than in the EU-28 (11.1 percentage points) in 2012. Belarus was the only country where the employment rate for women was higher than for males.

The services sector is the main provider of jobs in nearly all ENP-East countries, but the agricultural sector still accounts for a large share of employment

There were notable differences between the ENP-East countries in the structure of employment by economic activity (see Table 3). Although the services sector was the largest employer in five of the six ENP-East countries in 2012, representing over 50 % of employment in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, and over 45 % in Armenia and Azerbaijan, this was still well below the rate in the EU-28 (72 %). The agricultural sector was still the main employer in Georgia (53 %), and the second largest employer in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova where it accounted for more than one quarter of the total employment. Moldova in particular has seen a large drop in employment in the agriculture sector over the 10 years from 2002, when it represented almost half of total employment, to just over a quarter in 2012, Belarus was the only ENP-East country where employment in industry and construction accounted for slightly more than one third of total employment.

Employment in Azerbaijan and Georgia is dominated by self-employed and family workers, who make up 67 % and 58 % respectively of total employment, reflecting the significant role of agriculture in these countries. This contrasts starkly with the EU-28, where self-employed and family workers accounted for 16 % of the employed population in 2012. Between 2002 and 2012 the share of self-employed and family workers declined in all ENP-East countries except Ukraine.

Unemployment rate declined in all ENP-East countries in recent years

ENP-East countries were affected by the global economic crisis that gathered pace in autumn 2008 and most of them saw their unemployment rate peak in 2009 or in 2010, and fall thereafter. The EU-28 showed a different trend: after falling between 2004 and 2008, the unemployment rate increased continuously after the economic crisis to reach 10.5 % in 2012. However, unemployment rates differed significantly between ENP-East countries over the period 2002 to 2012, with unemployment rates in Armenia and Georgia far higher than in the EU-28. For instance, the unemployment rate in Armenia was 28,7 % in 2007 and 17.3 % in 2012. In the other ENP-East countries, unemployment ranged from 5.2 % in Azerbaijan to 7.5 % in Ukraine in 2012. Only Azerbaijan recorded a continuous decline in unemployment from 2002 to 2012.

Long-term unemployment is a key concern for many policy-makers, affecting social cohesion and, ultimately, economic growth. The total long-term unemployment rate in each of the ENP-East countries for which data are available was much lower in 2012 than in 2002 (see Table 6). Apart from Armenia (9.1 %) and Georgia (6.4 %), the total long-term unemployment rate in ENP-East countries was lower than the average for the EU-28 (4.7 %) in 2012. In three ENP-East countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia), the long term unemployment rate was higher for women than for men while the opposite was true in Moldova and Ukraine.

Data sources and availability

The data for the ENP-East are supplied on a voluntary basis by and under the responsibility of the national statistical authorities of each country. The data for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine are key indicators collected on a regular basis by Eurostat. The statistics included in this article are freely available on-line.


Labour market statistics are increasingly used to support policy-making and to provide the opportunity to measure the involvement of individuals and households in the labour market. In the context of the ENP-East countries, these statistics allow monitoring the characteristics of the labour force in the context of the aftermath of the recent economic crisis. The policy context of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is explained here.

See also

Further Eurostat information


European Neighbourhood policy countries - Demography


Population and social conditions (enpr_ps)
ENP countries: labour market (enpr_pslm)
LFS main indicators (lfsi)
Population, activity and inactivity - LFS adjusted series (lfsi_act)
Employment - LFS adjusted series (lfsi_emp)
Unemployment - LFS adjusted series (une)

Dedicated section

Methodology / Metadata

External links