27 million employees aged 15 to 64 in the European Union (EU) had a temporary contract in 2017. This represents 14.3 percent of all employees in the EU, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, shows.
Temporary employees accounted for less than 2 percent of all employees in both Romania (1.2 percent) and Lithuania (1.7 percent). Low shares were also recorded in Latvia (3.0 percent), Estonia (3.1 percent), Bulgaria (4.4 percent), Malta and the United Kingdom (both 5.6 percent).
At the opposite, over one in four employees in Spain (26.8 percent) and Poland (26.1 percent), and more than one in five in Portugal (22.0 percent), the Netherlands (21.5 percent) and Croatia (20.6 percent) had a temporary contract in 2017.
Temporary employment has fluctuated between 12.7 percent and 14.5 percent of all employees over the last 15 years. In 2017, this proportion was slightly higher for women (14.8 percent) than for men (13.8 percent). It was also higher in the euro area (16.0 percent) than in the EU.
Young people held by far the highest share of temporary contracts. Last year in the EU, nearly 8 million young people, or almost half (43.9 percent) of employees aged 15 to 24, were employed under a temporary contract.
Across the EU Member States, more than seven in ten young employees had a temporary contract in Spain (73.3 percent) and Slovenia (71.6 percent). Around two-thirds of them had such contracts in Poland (68.2 percent) and Portugal (65.9 percent), while about six in ten were affected in Italy (61.9 percent), Croatia (60.8 percent) and France (58.0 percent).
In contrast, the share of young people working under a temporary contract was less than 10 percent in Romania (4.1 percent), Latvia (6.7 percent) and Lithuania (6.8 percent).It was below 20 percent in Estonia (10.6 percent), Bulgaria (12.7 percent), Malta (13.0 percent), the United Kingdom (14.5 percent) and Hungary (17.6 percent).