The EU’s employment rate exceeded 75% in 2023, while the rate in Cyprus stood at 78.9% during the same year, according to data released by Eurostat, the statistical service of the European Union. Cyprus was also the country with the third largest share of overqualified workers, that is people with tertiary education employed in occupations that do not require such a high level of education.

On the EU level, about 195.7 million people worked in 2003, a number which corresponds to 75.3% of people from 20 to 64-year-old, the highest share recorded since the start of the time series in 2009. This marks three consecutive years of growth after a drop to 72% in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic (from 72.6% in 2019).

The 78.9% rate recorded in Cyprus was also the highest recorded since 2009, also marking a continuous increasing annual trend since 2020, when the rate had fallen to 74.9% (from 75.7% in 2019).

Among EU countries, the highest employment rates in 2023 were recorded in the Netherlands (84%), Sweden (83%) and Estonia (82%).

The lowest rates were recorded in Italy (66%), Greece (67%) and Romania (69%).

Regarding the over-qualification rate, this stood at 22% across the EU in 2023, with 21% for men and 23% for women.

Among EU countries, the over-qualification rate was highest in Spain (36%), followed by Greece (31%) and Cyprus (30%).

Meanwhile, Luxembourg (5%), Denmark and Czechia (each 13%) recorded the lowest rates.

In 18 of the 27 EU countries, women had higher over-qualification rates than men, with the largest differences recorded in Malta and Slovakia (both +8 percentage points, pp) and Italy (+7 pp).

Cyprus was one of the countries where women had higher over-qualification rates, with the difference reaching 6 pp (27% for men, 33% for women).

In nine EU countries, men had higher over-qualification rates, with the biggest differences recorded in Lithuania (+5 pp), Latvia (+4 pp) and Bulgaria (+3 pp).

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