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The European Union has achieved 72.2 percent employment rate as a part of the Europe 2020 strategy, which targets 75 percent employment for the EU.
This is the first of a 5-article series on the Europe 2020 strategy.
The Europe 2020 strategy is the EU’s agenda, for growth and jobs for the current decade. It emphasizes smart, sustainable and inclusive growth as a way to overcome the structural weaknesses in Europe’s economy, improve its competitiveness and productivity and underpin a sustainable social market economy. It was proposed by the European Commission on March 3, 2010 as a 10-year strategy plan.
To reach these objectives, the EU has adopted various targets in five areas: employment, research and development (R&D), climate change and energy, education, and poverty reduction.
The target for employment rate (for the population between the ages of 20-64) for all the EU member states together, under the Europe 2020 strategy, is 75 percent. Individually, each country has been given its own target as well.
“In 2017 the overall employment rate in the EU reached 72.2 percent. As a result the distance to the Europe 2020 employment target of 75 percent narrowed to 2.8 percentage points. If the employment rate keeps increasing at the pace recorded since 2013, it would be broadly within reach of the Europe 2020 target,” says the latest (2018) report on Europe 2020. As of 2017, nine member states have employment above the required 2020 targets, according to the latest data available on Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.
Among the member states, Greece followed by Spain are the furthest away from their 2020 targets. Greece has achieved 57.8 percent of employment in 2017. In the next 3 years, it will have to gain 12.2 percentage points to reach its target. Spain is 8.5 percent points short of its target.
The female employment rate for the EU as a whole is at 66.5 percent and has shown an increase of 4.3 percentage points since 2010. As for the male population, 78.1 percent of it is employed as compared 75.2 percent in 2010. The lowest female employment rate in 2017 was in Greece (48.0 percent) and Italy (52.5 percent), followed by Croatia (58.3 percent) and Spain (59.6 percent).