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How many of Europe's immigrants are jobless?

How many of Europe's immigrants are jobless?
Copyright Nick Youngson
Copyright Nick Youngson
By Alice Tidey
Published on Updated
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In 2017, 63% of migrants born outside the European Union were working, data show, compared to 73% for the native-born population.


Sixty three percent of migrants who have moved into the European Union are employed, according to new figures, 10 percentage points lower than for the native-born population.

Migrants who move between EU countries, on the other hand, are more likely to have a job than people who stayed in the country of their birth. According to data released on Monday by Eurostat, 75.4% of EU internal migrants aged between 20 and 64 were in work, while 73% of native-born people of working age had jobs.

Best countries for non-EU migrants to find work

Non-EU migrants fared best in the Czech Republic where their employment rate tallied 79.4% — higher than the 78.5% for the native-born population but slightly lower than for EU migrants (79.7%).

Romania and Portugal followed, clocking employment rates for non-EU migrants of 76.3% and 74.5% respectively. Both are higher than the rates for native-born employment.

Worst countries for non-EU migrants

The employment rate for non-EU migrants was at its lowest in Belgium. Only 52% of residents born outside the EU were in employment, compared to 71% for native-born people.

Greece followed with an employment rate of 54% for non-EU migrants. However, the Hellenic country also registered the 28-country bloc's lowest employment rate for EU migrants (56.1%) and for the native-born population (58.1%).

France completed the bottom trio, with just 55.6% of its non-EU population in employment, compared to 72.6% for its native-born population.

Here is how your country fared:

Here are the employment rates of native-born, EU migrants and non-EU migrants in the six most populous member states:

Non-EU migrants in the EU:

According to the latest EU census, in 2011 51 million people lived in an EU member state they had not been born in, representing around 10% of the bloc's population.

More than a third — 18.8 million people — of those were born in another EU member state, while a further 7.4 million (14.6%) were born in other European countries outside the EU.

Furthermore, data released in May by Eurostat showed that during the period 2008-2017, non-EU-born migrants systematically recorded lower activity rates — the ratio between the number of active persons (whether employed or unemployed) and the corresponding total population — than EU-born migrants or the native-born population, with these differences increasing over time.

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