More people at work in Luxembourg in pandemic year 2020
Luxembourg was one of the only EU countries to witness an increase in employment levels last year despite businesses having to close because of the pandemic.
Employment levels in Luxembourg rose by 2% in 2020 from 2019, the country’s statistics bureau Statec said on Monday. This was way above the EU average which saw employment levels fall by 1.5%.
"The labour market was strongly affected in 2020 by the Covid-19 pandemic" and measures put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Statec said. But many workers in Luxembourg were able to work from home, allowing business to continue, Statec said.
The country is known for its large financial industry, where staff were able to connect from home. Luxembourg also allowed cross-border workers to work from their homes in Germany, France and Belgium without being taxed there and in Luxembourg.
The only other countries where employment levels increased throughout the 27-member bloc were Malta, where levels rose by nearly 3%, and Poland with an increase of around 0.1%.
Luxembourg employment levels increased in eight out of 10 of its major sectors and only fell in agriculture and industry. The highest increase in employment came in the public services sector at 5% and real estate and construction at just under 4%.
The Grand Duchy also saw the EU's second-lowest decline in working hours, Eurostat said last week. Luxembourg tied with Finland and Denmark in seeing a 4% decline in hours worked while employees in the Netherlands saw a 3% fall.
People across the EU spent an average 12% fewer hours at work in 2020 as workers went on partial unemployment or took special leave, such as to look after children who had to stay off school.
The sharpest declines were in Greece and Spain, where people worked 20% less on average than usual last year.