In the second quarter of 2020, 19.2 million people of the total EU population aged 20-64 were employed with temporary contracts compared with 21.5 million in the first quarter of 2020 and 22.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2020. The fall in the number of temporary contracts corresponds to 80.5% of the total decrease in employment for this age group.

Youth employment has been particularly affected. From the last quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020, the share of temporary contracts in employment changed from 46.2% to 42.7% for young people aged 15-24 while it only decreased from 11.6% to 10.2% for the population aged 20-64.

The decline in employment with temporary contracts was visible in all EU Member States, apart from Lithuania and Denmark. The most substantial shrinkages were found in Latvia, Bulgaria, Malta, Slovenia, Estonia, Greece, and Slovakia, where the decrease exceeded 20%.

The number of people employed part-time also fell over the same period, dropping from 33.8 to 31.0 million, a decrease of 2.8 million among people aged 20-64. Please take note that the group of people with temporary contracts overlaps the group of part-time workers.

Fewer people employed part-time were also recorded in 20 out of 26 EU Member States for which data is available, with drops of more than 10% in Ireland, Spain, Malta, Portugal, and Latvia. However, part-time employment increased by more than 10% in Hungary (27.7%) and Bulgaria (10.9%).


Growth rate of temporary contracts and part-time employment in the EU

Source dataset: lfsi_pt_q



  • Figures are based on seasonally adjusted quarterly results from the European Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS).
  • Germany: due to technical issues with the introduction of the new German system of integrated household surveys, including the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the figures for Germany for the first and second quarters 2020 are not direct estimates from LFS microdata but based on a larger sample including additional data from other integrated household surveys. The figures for Germany are included in the EU aggregate. For more information, see here.
  • For more information also see Eurostat “Statistics Explained” articles on quarterly data on employment: Employment and Employment in detail.
  • The European Union (EU) includes 27 EU Member States. The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Further information is published here.