The job vacancy rate defines the ratio of vacancies to their total number in the economy. Across the European Union, the percentage of vacant jobs has been growing systematically since mid-2013, currently amounting to 1.9 per cent. This tendency may arise from the economic recovery, demographic changes, but also from the structural mismatch between the supply and demand for labor in Europe.
Among the EU countries, in terms of the vacancy rate level, three groups can be distinguished (starting from the group where the vacancy ratio is the highest):
- rich old member states of the EU;
- catching-up new member states of the EU;
- southern countries engulfed in crisis.
Only several countries fall outside this pattern. The Czech Republic is the country with the highest employment rate in the whole European Union. The percentage of vacant jobs recorded by Poland’s southern neighbors still oscillated around one per cent in 2013. It has currently tripled.
The employment rate level in Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia is close to its values recorded on the southern peripheries of Europe – in Greece it amounts to 1 per cent and in Spain to 0.8 per cent. Ireland, still engulfed in a deep crisis several years ago, is now in a similar situation.
Łukasz Czernicki is an economist and PhD student of the Potsdam University.