The EU saw an annual decrease of 0.7 percentage points in employment between ages 20 and 64 in 2020, according to official figures released on Wednesday.
Eurostat said the figure for men in the age group had fallen last year to 78.1%, down from 79% in 2019.
In 2020, the employment rate among women age 20-64 was 66.8%, lower than 67.3% in 2019 in the EU.
"This development led to a further decrease in the gender employment gap, to 11.3 pp (percentage points), in comparison to 11.7 pp in 2019," it said.
The statistical office said the labor market in the bloc had been heavily impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Among its member states, Sweden hade the highest employment rate of 80.8%, while the lowest was in Greece with 61.1%.
Spain suffered the steepest employment decline in the bloc with 2.3 percentage points to 65.7% between 2019 and 2020. It was followed by Ireland with a drop of 1.7 percentage points to 73.4% and Bulgaria, which was down 1.6 percentage points to 73.4%.
Only Malta, Poland, and Croatia managed to increase their respective employment rates among the EU's 27 member countries.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.