28 May
European Union utilities workers eurostat

Eurostat: Three quarters of utility workers are men

In 2019, 4.6 million persons aged 15 years or older were employed in the utilities sector in the European Union (EU), representing 2.3% of all persons employed, according to Eurostat.

The utilities sector covers electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (31% of the employment in the sector), waste collection, treatment and disposal activities (22%), telecommunications (19%), retail sale of automotive fuel in specialised store (10%), water collection, treatment and supply (9%), manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products (4%), sewerage (3%), as well as remediation activities and other waste management services (1%), extraction of crude petroleum and natural gas (1%) and support activities for petroleum and natural gas extraction (1%).

The utilities sector is critical for keeping society going, even in the middle of the coronavirus crisis.

It continues to provide hospitals, homes, factories and other buildings with electricity, gas and water; it keeps our sewers running while we are confined in our homes; it makes home office and home school possible; it provides fuel for transport of medical supplies, food and other essential goods during this difficult period.

Male dominated

The utilities sector is male dominated. In 2019, almost three quarters (73%) of the workers in the sector were men. Most of the workers employed in this sector in the EU were aged 35-49 (40%), while one in three (33%) were aged 50 or above. Only one quarter (27%) of the workers in the sector were aged 15-34.

Figures by countries

Croatia stood out among the EU Member States in 2019, with 4.8% of the employed persons aged over 15 working in the utilities sector. This sector employed many people also in Bulgaria (3.8% of total employment) and Romania (3.7%), as well as in Greece (3.4%) and Poland (3.2%).

In contrast, only 1.4% of the persons employed in the Netherlands in 2019 worked in the utilities sector, with low shares also recorded in Denmark and Austria (both 1.7%) and in Germany, Finland and Sweden (all 1.8%).

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