In 2018, 1.76 million people worked in the field of sport in the EU-28 and more than half were men (55%), according to data released today by Eurostat, the statistical service of the EU. In Cyprus almost 0.6% of the workforce is employed in the sports industry (up from 0.5% in 2013).
In 2018, employment in sport represented 0.8 % of total EU employment, ranging from 0.1% in Romania to 1.7% in Sweden For the majority of EU Member States, sport employment shares reached 1% at maximum; in addition to Sweden, only in the United Kingdom, Finland, Ireland and Spain, did this share exceeded 1%.
Compared to total employment, jobs in sport still accounted for relatively small shares but the contribution of sport was steadily growing. Between 2013 and 2018, sport contribution to total employment increased slightly in nearly all Member States and, at EU level, it rose from 0.7% to 0.8%.
Around 46% of persons employed in sport have a medium educational attainment level, 38% have a high level and 16% have a low level.
Between 2013 and 2018, employment in sport rose by 3.2% in terms of annual average growth rate (AAGR), in comparison to 1.4% observed for total employment.
The largest increases in EU Member States were observed in Greece (AAGR +17%), Croatia (AAGR +16%), and Latvia (AAGR +12%), while only four countries had a negative trend in their AAGR: Austria (-1.4%), France (-2.9%), Slovakia (-3.6%) and Romania (-5.2%). In Cyprus the rate was 5.6%.
In 2018, women accounted for 45% of employment in sport in the EU, reflecting the structure of the total employed population (46% female). A large part of EU Member States recorded women as a minority of people employed in sport, with the highest differences (with over two-thirds of men in sport employment) in Slovenia (68%) and Slovakia (72%). On the other side, more women than men worked in sport in Latvia and Finland (55% for women), Sweden (54%), Germany and Hungary (52%) and Denmark (51%). Two EU Member States had a 50% tie for both sexes: the Netherlands and Poland. In Cyprus this rate is around 38%.
Compared with the age structure of the total employed population, it is noticeable that young people account for a relatively significant share in sport employment: in 2018, nearly four in ten workers (38%) in sport in the EU were aged 15–29, twice the figure recorded for the total employment (19%). In all countries for which data are available, the proportion of young people in sport employment outnumbered that in total employment. The difference was particularly significant in Spain, where the percentage of young people employed in sport was 2.7 times higher than the share of young people in total employment, as well as in Italy (2.5 times higher) and in Bulgaria (2.4 times higher). At Member State level, the highest shares of young people employed in sport were observed in Denmark (58%), Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (47% each) and Finland (43%).
Since 2013, the percentage of young people employed in sport has increased by 3 percentage points, from 35% in 2013 to 38% in 2018. Among those countries with reliable data for both years, Sweden and the United Kingdom had the largest increase, respectively by 7 and 6 percentage points. By contrast, Czechia decreased by 8 percentage points, dropping from 29% in 2013 to 21% in 2018, the lowest share among all Member States.
Considering the educational background of persons employed in sport in the EU in 2018, 38 % had completed tertiary education. This figure was slightly higher than the share of tertiary graduates in total employment (35%). In four EU Member States, half or more of those working in sport were tertiary graduates: these countries are Cyprus (76%), Lithuania (65%), Greece (57%) and Spain (52%). In comparison with total employment, Portugal had the highest proportion of tertiary education graduates with a 1.7 ratio, followed by Cyprus (1.6) and Greece and Lithuania (1.5). By contrast, Denmark reported a share of tertiary graduates employed in sport at 20%, almost half of the proportion observed in total employment (36%). In an additional eight Member States, the share of tertiary graduates in sport employment was lower than that in total employment.
Finally, between 2013 and 2018 , the percentage of tertiary education graduates employed in sport rose in the EU as a whole from 33% in 2013 to 38% in 2018, as well as in all Member States for which data are sufficiently reliable for both years, except Greece, Lithuania and Germany.
(Cyprus News Agency)