Across the European Union, Croatia was the country which had the highest level of precarious employment, with 8.6% of the population in 2016 in a contract which did not exceed three months duration. France was second with 4.8% and Spain coming in just behind with 4.7%.
Countries which had the lowest level of precarious employment included Germany with 0.5%, the U.K. with 0.4% and Romania on 0.2%. The average across the 28 member-states was 2.3%. Eight countries had under 1% of their working population in precarious employment.
As countries shift away from manufacturing to service sector economies, there has been increasing demand for a flexible workforce often characterised at the lower end of the scale as precarious. Compared to regular employment, precarious employment is often poorly-paid, insecure work which could not be used to support a household.
A research paper published by the European Commission in 2017 found that women were noticeably over-represented in this form of employment.