Job vacancy statistics

From Statistics Explained

Data from September 2014. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.

This article gives an overview of recent job vacancy statistics in the European Union (EU), notably the job vacancy rate (JVR). Job vacancy trends over the last decade are analysed in another article. The News Release with quarterly data on the job vacancy rate is available here.

EU policies in the area of job vacancies aim to improve the functioning of the labour market by trying to more closely match supply and demand. In order to enable job seekers to consult all vacancies publicised in each of the Member State's employment services, the European jobs and mobility portal EURES was set up.

Figure 1: Job vacancy rate, NACE Rev.2 sections B to S, 2nd quarter 2014
Source: Eurostat (jvs_q_nace2)

Main statistical findings

Figure 2: Job vacancy rate, NACE Rev.2 sections B to S, 2nd quarter 2014
Source: Eurostat (jvs_q_nace2)
Table 1: Job vacancy rates (%) and change compared with the same quarter of the previous year (p.p.)
Source: Eurostat (jvs_q_nace2)

In the second quarter of 2014, the estimated job vacancy rate (JVR) was 1.7 % for the euro area (EA-18) and 1.6% for the EU-28, unchanged for both areas compared with the previous quarter. Compared with the first quarter of 2013 the JVR increased by 0.2 percentage points in the EA-17 and by 0.1 p.p. in the EU-28.

Figure 2 shows that in the second quarter of 2014 Germany (2.8 %), Belgium (2.4 %) and the United Kingdom (2.3 %) have the highest job vacancy rate while Latvia (0.4 %) has the lowest.

Among the countries for which data for the second quarter of 2014 are available the JVR rose in fifteen, remained stable in four and fell in seven, when compared with the same quarter of the previous year. The largest increases were registered in Cyprus and the United Kingdom (both +0.4 p.p.), the Czech Republic, Germany and Luxembourg (all +0.3 p.p.), and the largest decreases in Spain (-0.3 p.p.) and Austria (-0.2 p.p.).

Data sources and availability

Quarterly data on job vacancies and occupied posts may be presented broken down by economic activity and enterprise size. The national statistical authorities responsible for compiling job vacancy statistics send these statistics to Eurostat. Their data are used to compile the job vacancy rate for the EU and the euro area.

Some of the data provided by the Member States fails to match common criteria and there may be differences in the coverage of the data between countries; as a result, there are currently no EU-28 totals for the actual numbers of job vacancies or occupied posts. The EU-28 and euro area job vacancy rates are calculated on the basis of the information that is available. It is therefore not possible, at present, to present EU-28 or euro area job vacancy rates broken down by economic activity or size of enterprise.


The job vacancy rate, in part, reflects the unmet demand for labour, as well as potential mismatches between the skills and availability of those who are unemployed and those sought by employers. Job vacancy statistics are used by the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) to analyse and monitor the evolution of the labour market at national and European level. These statistics are also a key indicator used for an assessment of the business cycle and for a structural analysis of the economy.

Policy developments in this area have mainly focused on trying to improve the labour market by more closely matching supply and demand, through:

  • modernising and strengthening labour market institutions, notably employment services;
  • removing obstacles to worker mobility across Europe;
  • better anticipating skill needs, labour market shortages and bottlenecks;
  • managing economic migration;
  • improving the adaptability of workers and enterprises so that there is a greater capacity to anticipate, trigger and absorb economic and social change.

The European jobs and mobility portal (EURES) was set-up with the aim of providing job seekers in the EU with the opportunity to consult all job vacancies publicised in each of the Member State's employment services. The website provides access to a range of job vacancies from 31 European countries (the 28 EU Member States, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). In autumn 2011, there were over one million job vacancies advertised by over 25 000 registered employers on the website, while more than 750 000 people had posted their CVs on the website. This work is continued in 2012 and 2013.

European job days are another EU initiative in this domain and 2011 was the fifth edition of this programme of activities: during September and October 2011, a wide range of events took place all over Europe with the aim of raising awareness about the opportunities and practicalities of living and working in another European country. The events typically include job fairs, seminars, lectures, workshops and cultural events, all aimed at improving labour mobility.

See also

Further Eurostat information


Main tables

Job vacancies in number and % - NACE Rev. 2, B-S), quarterly data (tps00172)


Job vacancy statistics by occupation and NUTS 2 regions - annual data, NACE Rev. 2 (from 2008 onwards) (jvs_a_nace2)
Job vacancy statistics - quarterly data (from 2001 onwards), NACE Rev. 2 (jvs_q_nace2)
Job vacancy statistics (NACE rev. 1.1) - historical data (jvs_nace1)
Job vacancy statistics by occupation and NUTS 2 regions - annual data, NACE Rev. 1.1 (2000-2008) (jvs_a_nace1)
Job vacancy statistics - quarterly data, NACE Rev. 1.1 (2001Q1-2009Q4) (jvs_q_nace1)

Dedicated section

Job vacancies

Methodology / Metadata

Source data for tables and figures on this page (MS Excel)

External links

  • EURES, the European jobs and mobility portal
  • OECD - Data by theme - Labour - Labour force statistics - Short-term statistics - Registered Unemployed and Job Vacancies (MEI): Job Vacancies