New Study: Where Are the Healthiest Job Markets in Europe?

January 6, 2016

Europe’s economic footprint is vast. China’s economy often dominates headlines, but the European Union remains the 800-pound gorilla of the global economy. EU countries today produce one-fourth of world output, outpacing the United States and casting a long shadow over China’s comparatively small 13 percent share.

Today, Glassdoor Economic Research released a new study, Where is the Best Country in Europe to Get a Job?, tackling key issues facing European job seekers today. Which European countries offer workers the best job prospects, and why?

Measuring Job Market Health

The report provides a 30,000-foot view of Europe’s labor markets. Produced in cooperation with Llewellyn Consulting in London, it scores each country’s labor market on several dimensions—job growth, youth unemployment, temporary contract or “gig” work, sidelined workers stuck in part-time jobs, and whether job growth is in modern service jobs or traditional manufacturing and construction trades.

The top-line results from the study are in the figure below. It’s a heat-map-style ranking of EU countries in terms of labor market health. Green denotes a healthy job market, while red denotes below-average performance.


The huge diversity of European labor markets is clear in the figure. Workers in Estonia, Norway, the UK and Austria face the best job prospects today, with healthy growth and unemployment rates largely back to 2008 pre-crisis levels. By contrast, workers in Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy face a bleak landscape, with double-digit unemployment and slow growth—due in part to notoriously inflexible labor market regulations that have proven difficult to reform in recent years.

Our mission at Glassdoor is simple: To help people everywhere find a job and company that they love. By summarizing key trends in European labor markets in this report, we hope to help forward that goal for some of the roughly 232 million workers in the European Union labor force today.