More than one out of four workers in Spain (26.8 percent) and Poland (26.1 percent) has a temporary contract. According to the latest data of Eurostat , those countries have the highest rate within the European Union, surpassing by more than 10 points the average of the bloc (14.3 percent).
Portugal, the Netherlands and Croatia are next on the list, with over 20 percent of all employees in 2017. At the other end of the table, eastern countries such as Romania, Latvia and Lithuania are below 3 percent.
By age, young people hold by far the highest share of temporary contracts. Almost half of the EU workers aged between 15 and 24 were temporarily employed during 2017. Spain is again in top position, with three quarters of young people working under temporary contracts, while Lithuania, Latvia and Romania bottom out the list. However, in those countries the unemployment rate is greater than the temporary employment rate.
Compared to 2008 (before the financial crisis) the proportion of people with temporary contracts has increased in two thirds of the 31 countries analysed. The share rose in Slovakia by almost 5 points and it is 4.4 points higher in Denmark. Spain, on the other hand, has performed better since 2008, cutting the proportion of temporary contracts by 2.2 points.