Czechs work third-longest week in EU

At 41.2 hours per week, Czechs rank among most diligent workers in EU but show signs of slacking (they worked 6 minutes longer in 2009)

The motor vehicle sector saw a 4.7 percentage point growth in retail sales compared with last year foto: © TPCAČeská pozice

The motor vehicle sector saw a 4.7 percentage point growth in retail sales compared with last year

Czech workers tied with Bulgarians for third place in working the most hours in the EU in 2010. Full-time employees racked up 41.2 hours per week, beaten only by the UK at 42.2 and Austria at 42.0.

At the other end of the scale, people had the shortest work week in shortest in Denmark (37.7), Ireland (38.4), the Netherlands (38.9) and Italy (39.0). “In all Member States, men had longer working hours than women among full-time employees,” Eurostat said in its report. Year-on-year, the number of hours Czechs worked dropped by 0.1 hour — or six minutes.

The Czech Republic also has a slightly above average employment rate, at 70.4 percent of people between the ages of 20 and 64, compared with an EU-27 average of 68.6 percent and a eurozone average of 68.4 percent. Some 79.6 percent of men and 60.09 percent of women in that age bracket were employed; with the number for men significantly higher than EU-27 and eurozone averages and the number for women slightly below.

But the Czech employment rate was not near the top of the ranking. “In 2010, the employment rate for persons aged 20 to 64 was highest in Sweden (78.7 percent), the Netherlands (76.8 percent), Denmark (76.1 percent), Cyprus (75.4 percent), Germany and Austria (both 74.9 percent). The lowest rates were recorded in Malta (59.9 percent), Hungary (60.4 percent), Italy (61.1 percent), Spain (62.5 percent) and Romania (63.3 percent),” Eurostat said.

The total employment rate for people in the EU-27 between 20 to 64 years of age rose steadily from 66.8 percent in 2002 to 70.4 percent in 2008, then fell to 69.1 percent in 2009, and decreased further in 2010 to 68.6 percent. “In contrast, the rate for older people, i.e. those aged 55 to 64, has continued to grow, reaching 46.3 percent in 2010, compared with 36.9 percent in 2000,” Eurostat said. The Czech Republic was close the average for older workers, with 46.5 percent employed. The share of employed people working part time in the Czech Republic was among the lowest in Europe.

The share of employed people working part time in the Czech Republic, some 5.1 percent, was among the lowest in Europe, with only Bulgaria and Slovakia having fewer. The EU-27 average was 18.5 percent and the eurozone average was 19.9 percent. In the Czech Republic, part time workers clocked up 21.8 hours per week, compared with an EU-27 and eurozone averages of 20.2.

The largest category of employed persons over 15 years of age in the Czech Republic was “skilled non manual” at 40.8 percent, followed by “skilled manual” at 33.8 percent and “low skilled non manual” at 20.3 percent. The lowest amount of workers, 5.1 percent, was in “elementary occupations.”

Broken down by areas of economic activity, industry was the most important in the Czech Republic, accounting for 38 percent of employment, followed by market services at 35.2 percent. Non-market services was at 23.7 percent and agriculture at a miniscule 3.1 percent. ‘The relevance of industry was highest in the Czech Republic and lowest in Luxembourg.’

The relative importance of different sectors varied greatly across the EU. “Agriculture is still the main source of employment in Romania (30.1 percent of the working population in 2010), whereas it accounts for a very small share (below 2 percent) in Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Malta,” Eurostat said.  “The relevance of industry was highest in the Czech Republic (38.0 percent) and Slovakia (37.1 percent) and lowest in Luxembourg (13.3 percent). The share of market services was highest in Cyprus (46.2 percent) and non-market services were most prominent in Luxembourg (41.5 percent).”

Eurostat calculated the unemployment rate for the Czech Republic in 2010 at 7.3 percent, with the share of long-term unemployed at 40.9 percent. The EU-27 had an overall unemployment rate of 9.6 percent with a 39.9 percent share of long-term unemployed.

“In 2010 unemployment in the EU increased by 1.6 million persons to reach 22.9 million. For both men and women, it went up by 0.8 million persons to 12.5 million and 10.4 million, respectively,” Eurostat said.

Hours per week for full-time employees over 15 years old
Czech Republic41.240.341.8
United Kingdom42.240.143.5
 Source: Eurostat