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Europe — Employment in agriculture down by -25% between 2000 and 2009

10 May 2010

The latest long-term analysis published by the statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat) reveals that employment in the agricultural sector of the European Union (EU27) decreased by -25%between 2000 and 2009, the equivalent of -3.7 million full-time jobs. It fell by -17% in the older member states (SEU15)* and by -31% in the 12 member states that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 (NMS12)*.

In 2009, employment in the agricultural sector was equivalent to 11.2 million full-time jobs in the EU27, of which 5.4 million were in the EU15 and 5.8 million in the NMS12.


Between 2000 and 2009, real agricultural income per worker increased by +5% on average in the EU27, although the change differed significantly between the NMS12 (+61%) and the EU15 (-10%).

In 2009, the five member states with the highest employment in the agricultural sector accounted for almost two thirds of the EU27 total: Poland (20% of EU27 employment in agricultural sector, the equivalent of 2.2 million full-time workers), Romania (19% and 2.1 million), Italy (10% and 1.2 million), Spain and France (both 8% and 0.9 million).

Between 2000 and 2009, employment in the agricultural sector fell in all member states. In general, the largest decreases were found among the NMS12: Estonia (-55%), Bulgaria (-48%) and Slovakia (-43%). The smallest decreases were registered in Greece (-3%) and Ireland (-4%). Among the five member states with the highest employment in the agricultural sector, employment fell by -11% in Poland, -41% in Romania, -16% in Italy and -17% in both Spain and France.

Between 2000 and 2009, real agricultural income per worker rose in 17 Member States and fell in ten. The highest increases were found in Latvia (+140%), Estonia (+131%), Poland (+107%), the United Kingdom (+71%) and Lithuania (+70%), and the largest decreases in Denmark (-46%), Italy and Luxembourg (both -36%), Ireland (-30%) and the Netherlands (-28%).

Between 2008 and 2009, real agricultural income per worker fell by -12% in the EU27. Real agricultural income per worker fell in 21 Member States, remained nearly unchanged in two and rose in four. The largest decreases were found in Hungary (-32%), Luxembourg (-25%), Ireland (-24%), Germany and Italy (both -21%), and the highest increases in Malta (+8%) and Denmark (+4%).

* EU15 includes Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. NMS12 refers to the twelve new Member States that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.

 

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