Germany and Malta: the only Member States with a nearly steady growth in the employment rate from 2002 to 2013
Among the Member States, the evolution of the employment rate for the age group 20 to 64 between 2002 and 2013 showed different patterns. Five broad groups could be distinguished: twelve Member States (Bulgaria, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland) showed the same evolution as the EU28 average, meaning an increase until around 2008 and then a decrease. In nine (the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Romania, Sweden, the United Kingdom), the employment rate rose until around 2008, then fell, but then recovered or partially recovered. In four Member States (Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria and Poland), the employment rate rose until around 2008 and then remained almost stable. In Portugal, there has been an almost continuous fall since the beginning of the period, while Germany and Malta showed a nearly continuous growth over the whole period.
The divergence of the employment rates across Member States has increased after the financial crisis, with a difference between the highest and the lowest employment rates of 19.4 percentage points in 2010 and of 26.6 pp in 2013.
Highest employment rates for those aged 20 to 64 in Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands
In 2013, the highest employment rates for those aged 20 to 64 were observed in Sweden (79.8%), Germany (77.1%), the Netherlands (76.5%), Denmark (75.6%), Austria (75.5%), the United Kingdom (74.9%), Estonia and Finland (both 73.3%), and the lowest in Greece (53.2%), Croatia (53.9%), Spain (58.2%) and Italy (59.8%). In 2013, only Germany and Malta reached their Europe 2020 targets.
Continuous increase in employment rate for those aged 55 to 64 in twelve Member States
For the age group 55 to 64, the evolution of the employment rate from 2002 and 2013 also differed at a Member State level. Four broad groups could be distinguished: twelve Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden) showed the same evolution as the EU28 average, with increases across almost the whole period. In eleven (the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Romania, Slovenia and the United Kingdom), the employment rate rose until around 2008, then fell, but then recovered or partially recovered. In four Member States (Greece, Spain, Croatia and Cyprus) an increase in their employment rate until around 2008 was followed by a continuous fall. In Portugal, there has been an almost continuous fall in the rate since 2002.
Sweden: only Member State with an employment rate above 70% for those aged 55 to 64
In 2013, the highest employment rate by far for those aged 55 to 64 was observed in Sweden (73.6%), followed by Germany (63.5%), Estonia (62.6%), Denmark (61.7%) and the Netherlands (60.1%). The lowest rates for this age group were registered in Slovenia (33.5%), Greece (35.6%), Malta (35.9%), Croatia (36.5%) and Hungary (38.5%).