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ICT sector employment & labour productivity

by Member States



ICT Sector Employment

In 2009, over 6.1 million people worked in the EU ICT sector, representing 2.7% of employment in the EU. This percentage was almost identical in 2008.

The figure below compares the shares of ICT sector employment in total employment by Member State (based on head counts). As with ICT Value Added in GDP, the leading country in 2008 and 2009 was Ireland with more than 5% shares in both years (5.6% in 2009). Only two other countries, Malta and Finland, exceeded a 4% share (4.8% and 4.3%, respectively). At the other end of the scale, six countries – Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania, Portugal, Lithuania and Greece- had shares below 2% in 2009.

Between 2008 and 2009, the EU ICT sector lost 183 000 workers (in head counts). Germany was the country that experienced the sharpest drop, almost 61 000 (33.3% of the total EU reduction), while the United Kingdom experienced a fall of 39 000 (21.3%), France 26 000 (14.2%) and Spain 24 000 (13.1%). Thus, these four countries were responsible for more than 80% of the EU ICT sector employment contraction. Interestingly, in spite of the economic crisis, ICT employment increased in some countries, most noticeably in Poland where almost 28 000 more workers were employed (according to head counts). Italy and Bulgaria also employed 4 000 additional workers. What is even more interesting is that although Ireland and Malta experienced the biggest rises in their ICT sector employment shares (both almost 0.5 percentage points), in terms of head counts they were much less significant – only 679 new workers in Malta and even a decline in Ireland (496 workers fewer).


Share of ICT sector employment in total employment by Member State
(% of head counts, 2008-2009)


Source: Eurostat, elaborated by Ivie and JRC-IPTS [Download full image]



At the EU level in 2009, ICT Manufacturing employed 15.3% of the ICT sector workforce. There is considerable variation between Member States in the distribution of labour between the two ICT sectors (Manufacturing and Services). A large number of newer EU Member States have become important ICT manufacturing countries, and have relatively high employment in ICT Manufacturing (see the figure below). This was the case for Malta (56.5% of ICT sector employment in Manufacturing), Hungary (49.7%), Estonia (39.3%), Slovakia (29.1%), Romania (26.1%), Poland (25.9%), Czech Republic (22.5%) and Slovenia (22.5%). Other EU countries with a relatively high share of ICT manufacturing employment were Finland (29.0%), Ireland (22.2%) and Sweden (17.5%). On the other hand, countries with the biggest share of ICT Services employment in 2009 were Cyprus (98.6%), Latvia (95.0%), Greece (94.2%) and Spain (94.0%).


Distribution of employment shares between ICT Manufacturing and ICT Services by Member State
(% of head counts, 2009)


Source: Eurostat, elaborated by Ivie and JRC-IPTS [Download full image]



The figure below compares Member State contributions to EU ICT sector employment in 2009. As can be expected, EU ICT sector employment was concentrated in the five largest EU economies. Germany came first with 17.9% of total ICT sector employment in 2009. UK was second with 16.5%, followed by France (13.1%), Italy (11.1%), and Spain (6.4).. Thus, almost two thirds of EU ICT sector employment is concentrated in these five countries. Other EU countries with relatively high shares of ICT employment compared with their economic size are Poland (5.3%) and the Netherlands (4.6%). Three newer Member States, the Czech Republic (2.6%), Hungary (2.3%) and Romania (2.3%) have rather high contributions, followed by Finland, with 1.8%. 

Distribution of ICT employment among Member States (head counts, 2009)


Source: Eurostat, elaborated by Ivie and JRC-IPTS [Download full image]



ICT Labour Productivity

As shown by the figure below, the EU ICT labour productivity level in 2009 was almost € 78 000 per person. Luxembourg had the highest level (€ 170 000 per person). Surprisingly, Greece had the second highest EU labour productivity (€ 130 000 per person) [1]. The newer Member States – Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Latvia – had the lowest levels. All the newer Member States (except Cyprus) had the lowest levels of ICT labour productivity and there is a clear difference between the last older Member State (Germany) and the first newer Member State (Slovenia) – almost € 26 000 per person. But this difference is mostly caused by different price levels among newer and older Member States, and may not necessarily be due to lower labour productivity in terms of volumes. It is also interesting to note that ICT Services in almost all countries had higher labour productivity than the total, and thus than ICT Manufacturing. The only two exceptions were Finland and Ireland.

[1] 2009 Labour Productivity data were estimated for both countries, Luxembourg and Greece, due to lack of available official data. They should therefore be interpreted with caution.


ICT labour productivity by Member State (thousands EUR per person, 2009)


Source: Eurostat, elaborated by Ivie and JRC-IPTS [Download full image]