More than one-in-five EU part-time workers are underemployed according to data published Monday by Eurostat, the EU's statistics office. More than a quarter of part-timers in Ireland are underemployed.
Among the 44.1m persons in the European Union (EU) working part-time in 2014, 9.8m were underemployed meaning they wished to work more hours and were available to do so. This corresponds to 22.2% of all part-time workers and 4.5% of total employment in the EU in 2014. The large majority of part-time workers being underemployed in the EU were women (67%).
In Greece the ratio was at 72%, and 66% and 57% in Cyprus and Spain respectively.
In Ireland in 2014 the average number underemployed was at 128,000 or 28.7% of the part-time workforce — this was equivalent to 6.7% of total employment. At the end of December 2014, there were 115,500 part-time workers who were seeking more work hours from a total of 446,400 part-time workers — 25.8%.
The gender split of the underemployed was more balanced in Ireland with 61,400 females and 54,000 males.
Eurostat said that alongside the economically active population , 11.6m economically inactive persons aged 15-74 in the EU had in 2014 a certain attachment to the labour market and could be considered as a potential additional labour force, equivalent to 4.8% of the EU labour force. Among them, 9.5m were available to work but not seeking, such as discouraged job seekers, and 2.2m seeking work but not immediately available4 , for example students seeking a job to start after graduation. The majority of this almost 12m total potential additional labour force in the EU in 2014 were also women (57%).
Eurostat said the total potential labour force in Ireland was 46,000.
Check here for information on Ireland's broad rate of unemployment of 20%.
In the EU 28, the official rate of unemployment is 9.8% of the workforce or 23.9m people while Eurozone rate is at 11.3% and European Central Bank staff forecasts show unemployment of 9.9 per cent in 2017.