Economic Crisis Cuts Down Working Hours In European Union - Study

Publish date: 06-11-2009
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A full time employee in Romania worked around 20 minutes less in the second quarter of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008, because of the economic crisis, while European Union employees overall work an average 40 minutes less, according to research published Thursday by Eurostat.

In Romania, an employee works an average 41.1 hours per, while the EU average is 40.3 hours.

During economic crises, "employers can adopt measures such as switching to part-time or cutting down on the number of hours worked in order to avoid layoffs and thus protect human capital. In certain states, these measures have been facilitated by the government implementing certain programs and taking responsibility for part of the expense related to reducing working hours or switching to part-time," according to a study by Eurostat, called "The impact of the crisis on employees".

Romania is fifth among EU countries ranked by the number of weekly working hours, with Greece (42), the Czech Republic (41.6), Austria (41.5) and Poland (41.4) taking up the first four positions, and Finland (37.8), Denmark (38), Sweden (38.1) and France (38.3) lower in the ranking.

Part-time jobs accounted for 10% of the total number of jobs in Romania in the second quarter, 0.1 percentage points lower compared to the same period in 2008, according to Eurostat. The EU average is 18.8%, up by 0.5 percentage points.

The number of Romanian employees with higher education has risen by 3.5%, close to the EU average of 3%. The number of employees with medium education has dropped by 3.4% (-2.6% EU average), compared to the second quarter of 2008, and there are 1.4% more employees with low education (-4.9% in the EU).

The only EU states to increase the working hours of their employees were Luxembourg (one hour) and Latvia (about 6 minutes). Hungary was the only state in which the average number of working hours in the second quarter remained constant (40.6 hours).

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