Picture used for illustrative purposes.
In 2021, 1.37 million people were employed in the sports sector in the EU, representing 0.7 per cent of total employment. At the EU level, the number of people working in sport in the EU recovered after dipping during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns (1.37 million employees in 2019; 1.31 in 2020), according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union..
The EU countries with the highest share of people working in the field of sport were Sweden (1.4 per cent of total employment), Finland (1.3 per cent), Spain and France (both 1.1 per cent). While, the EU countries with the lowest shares of people working in the field of sport were reported in Romania (0.2 per cent of total employment), Malta (0.3 per cent) and Bulgaria, Slovakia and Poland (all 0.4 per cent).
In the sports sector, men were more represented than women (55 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively), resulting in a slightly larger gender gap than that observed for overall employment (54 per cent and 46 per cent, respectively). When it came to age, 32 per cent of those employed were young people (aged 15-29), almost twice the share observed for overall employment (17 per cent). People aged 30-64 represented 65 per cent of sport employment, 15 percentage points less than the share reported for total employment.
Almost half (47 per cent) of those employed in the sport sector had a medium level of education (International Standard Classification of Education levels 3-4), followed by those with tertiary education (ISCED 5-8) with 40 per cent (3 percentage points higher than those in total employment). People who achieved lower education (ISCED 0-2), accounted for 13% of employment in sport.
According to recent data released by the EU’s statistics agency the general unemployment in the 19-nation eurozone still exceeds that of the larger European Union, but the rate fell slightly in July to 6.6%, Notably, it’s a reduction of a whole percentage point from the same time in 2021 and represents some 1.5 million employees that have returned to the workforce in the past year.
The unemployment rate in the 27-nation EU has similarly decreased, from 6.9% in July 2021 to 6% one year later, according to the Eurostat report. Meanwhile, long-term data indicates both the EU and the eurozone, also known as the euro area, have some of the strongest employment numbers in nearly 15 years. Unemployment peaked above 11.5% in 2013, but steadily declined each year thereafter until a spike during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The unemployment rate is higher for workers under the age of 25. Some 2.6 million young workers are unemployed in the EU, representing a rate of 14%. Yet 329,000 young workers returned to the workforce over the past year, 244,000 of which were in the eurozone, comprised of the 19 member states that have adopted the euro as their sole legal tender.
By sex, women are experiencing a slightly higher unemployment rate than their male counterparts. Eurostat reports 6.4% of women in the EU are unemployed, compared to 5.7% of men, rates that were unchanged from June.
The unemployed are defined as people without a job “who have been actively seeking work in the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks,” according to the report.
Geographically, Spain is experiencing the highest unemployment rate in the eurozone at 12.6% in July 2022. At 11.4%, Greece is the only other country with a double-digit rate. The next highest rate is in Cyprus, with a flat 8%.
On the other hand, the Czech Republic is enjoying the lowest unemployment rate in the eurozone with 2.3%. Within a single percentage point behind are Poland (2.6%) Germany and Malta (2.9%), and Norway (3.1%).
Comparatively, the United States reported an unemployment rate of 3.5% in July. Separately, european economic activity fell once again in September, a closely-watched survey showed on Friday, heightening expectations that a recession was coming.
“The Eurozone economic downturn deepened in September, with business activity contracting for a third consecutive month,” S&P Global Flash Eurozone PMI said.
“Although only modest, the rate of decline accelerated to a pace which, barring pandemic lockdowns, was the steepest since 2013.”
The purchasing managers’ index fell from 48.9 in August to 48.2 in September — with a score under 50 representing economic contraction.
“A eurozone recession is on the cards as companies report worsening business conditions and intensifying price pressures linked to soaring energy costs,” Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global Market Intelligence said.