All but one Member State (France) registered positive growth in the second quarter of 2015. Economic activity in the second quarter of 2015 was higher than a year ago in nearly all Member States. Only in Finland GDP remained unchanged.
Labour markets in the EU continue to gradually improve, benefitting from the strengthening in economic activity. In the second quarter of 2015, employment levels increased by 0.2% in the EU and by 0.3% in the EA. Over the year to the second quarter of 2015, employment growth was 1% in the EU and 0.9 % in the EA i.e. about 2.3 million and 1.3 million people respectively. Since the first quarter of 2013, employment has risen by 2% in the EU and by 1.4% in the EA (respectively about 4.5 million and 2 million more employed people).
Service sectors contributed the most to the recent employment growth in the EU. Employment increased in most service sectors in the second quarter of 2015, while it stagnated in agriculture and industry and declined in construction. Compared to the first quarter of 2014, employment was up in all sectors except agriculture.
Permanent and full-time jobs continue to lead employment expansion since the beginning of 2014. In the year to the first quarter of 2015, the number of employees with a permanent contract grew by 1.9 million, while the number of employees with a temporary contract grew by 815 900. In the same period, the number of full-time workers rose by 1.7 million while the number of part-time workers grew by 535 000.
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