Non-EU nationals faced with higher jobless rate than nationals in 2015: official data

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Migrants in the European Union (EU) were faced with tougher time than locals in the bloc's labor market, official data showed on Monday, suggesting more efforts are needed as the continent currently sees massive migrant influx.

Non-EU citizens were less economically active with a notably higher jobless rate and lower employment rate, said Eurostat, the bloc's statistic agency, in an online publication monitoring migrant integration.

The proportion of people economically active, namely employed and unemployed, stood just below 70 percent for non-EU citizens aged 20 to 64, while the activity rate was above 77 percent for EU-nationals, the agency said.

In most EU member states, the activity rate of non-nationals was lower than for non-EU citizens. The Netherlands saw the most significant differences in the bloc with 59.7 percent for non-EU citizens comparing with 82.2 percent for nationals, or negative 22.5 percentage points.

Germany, the bloc's powerhouse, recorded a gap of negative 18.3 percentage points between non-EU inhabitants and its German citizens. The reading might raise some concerns over migrants' integration in the country, which has registered some one million asylum-seekers, the most in the continent, over the past year.

There remained a huge disparity between countries though. In contrast, nine EU member states, including Greece, Slovenia, Slovakia, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, Portugal, the Czech Republic and Hungary, saw higher economically active rates for outsiders, data showed.

In Greece, for instance, a total of 80.7 percent of non-EU citizens stood economically active, comparing with 72.6 percent for nationals. The debt-torn country, however, suffers highest jobless rate in the bloc while almost half of its young people could not find jobs.

Labor markets in Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Portugal, which as well experienced debt crisis, also stood worrisome as high unemployment rates have been recorded over the past few years. Situation in Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary was less severe.

As Europe is faced with tough challenges on both tackling almost double-digit unemployment rate and addressing massive migrant flows, Monday's employment data added concerns over the non-EU citizens' better integration in the continent.

Looking in detail at their respective situation on the labor market, the employment rate for non-EU citizens aged 20 to 64 in the EU stood at 56.7 percent in 2015, while it was 70.6 percent for nationals, Eurostat said.

For unemployment, the rate for non-EU citizens aged 20 to 64 was 18.9 percent, more than twice the level for nationals which was at 8.7 percent. However, the share of people unemployed for 12 months or more was slightly lower for non-EU citizens than for nationals, the agency noted.

Meanwhile, the share of employees with temporary and part-time contracts was higher for non-EU citizens, data showed.

Migrants play an important role in the labor markets and economies of the countries they settle in, Eurostat said. In addition to employment assessment, the bloc also evaluated other aspects including education, social inclusion and active citizenship in its migrant integration statistics. Endit

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