A growing number of temporary jobs

At the EU level, temporary employment declined in the aftermath of the economic crisis of 2008. The number of temporary jobs fell from 26.2 million in 2008Q2 to 24.2 million in 2013Q2. However, this was to a great extent driven by developments in Spain and Greece. In most other countries, we observed a continuous increase in the number of temporary contracts over the past decade. Regarding the EU28 average, their number reached 27.4 million in the second quarter of 2018, growing at a faster pace than total employment (see Figure 2.2).

Figure 2.20 shows developments in temporary employment rates over the past decade across the EU countries.  In the EU28, the temporary employment rate stood at 14.3% in 2018, up from 13.7% in 2013 (all data for second quarters). In 2018, the highest share of temporary jobs intotal employment was noted in Spain (26.9%) and Poland (24.8%), followed by Portugal, the Netherlands and Croatia, all above 20%. The lowest incidence of temporary contracts was observed in Romania (1%) and the Baltic states (all below 4%). Over the past 10 years, the share of temporary jobs increased by far the most in Croatia (7.7 pp), Slovakia, Malta, Italy and the Netherlands. Overall, in 17 out of 28EU countries, the temporary employment rate was higher in 2018 than ten years earlier. Over the recent period of resumed job growth after 2013, the share of temporary jobs increased the most in Croatia, Italy and Spain.

more information in Benchmarking Working Europe 2019 - Chapter 2 Labour market and social developments