Job mobility of young people in the EU

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Young people on the labour market in 2016

Half of unemployed young people in the EU ready to relocate for a job

Less than 1% of young employed moved to another EU Member State for their current job

50% of unemployed people aged 20-34 in the European Union (EU) are reluctant to change their place of residence for a job, 21% are ready to move for a job but only in the same country,  whereas 12% would consider moving to another EU Member State. 17% would even be ready to move for a job outside EU.

The education level of the young people plays a role. The young unemployed with a high level of education are more ready to move for work (23% ready to move in the same country and 16% ready to relocate inside the EU) than young unemployed with a medium education level (20% and 11% respectively) or young unemployed with a low level of education (21% and 10%).

The majority of employed people aged 20-34 in the EU did not relocate for their current job (90%). The share of those who actually did move to another EU Member State was only 1% of the young employed, while 8% moved inside the country for their current job.

Job mobility within the country rises among young employed with a higher level of education (13% have moved) compared with people with a medium education (6%) and those with a low level of education (4%). However, educational differences are not so significant for young employed who moved within the EU: 2% of those with high level of education and 2% of those with low education changed Member State for work reasons compared with 1% of young people with a medium education level.


These selected findings, issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, come from a special data collection from the 2016 European Labour Force Survey ad hoc module on young people on the labour market. This module provides information showing how differences in education translate into employment opportunities. It also examines how young people look for jobs, shows their readiness to commute, and gives their reasons for discontinuing their education.

Young unemployed people most reluctant to move for a job in Malta, the Netherlands and Cyprus

More than two-thirds of the unemployed aged 20-34 are not ready to move for a job in Malta (73%), the Netherlands (69%) and Cyprus (68%). In seventeen EU Member States, more than half of the young unemployed are not ready to relocate to find work.

[source: Eurostat]

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