Romania has the European Union’s highest percentage of workers at risk of in-work poverty, according to new figures published by the European Union’s statistics unit Eurostat on March 16. Almost 20 per cent of working Romanians are considered at risk, followed at a distance by Greece (14.1 per cent), Spain (13.1 per cent), Luxembourg (12 per cent), Italy (11.7 per cent), Bulgaria (11.4 per cent), Portugal (10.9 per cent) and Poland (10.8 per cent).
At the other end of the scale the Czech Republic boasts the lowest percentage of employed persons at risk of poverty amongst emerging European nations: just 3.8 per cent. Only Finland (3.1 per cent) has a lower rate.
Compared with 2010, the share of employed persons at risk of poverty has risen in a majority of EU member states.
The highest increases were recorded in emerging Europe, in Hungary (an increase of 4.3 percentage points), in Bulgaria (3.7 percentage points) and Estonia (3.1 percentage points).
In contrast, decreases in the share of employed persons at risk of poverty over the same time period were observed in nine member states, including Lithuania – which had the largest decrease (-4.1 percentage points) and Latvia (-1.1 percentage points).
Over recent years in the EU as a whole, the proportion of employed persons at risk of poverty has risen continually, from 8.3 per cent in 2010 to 9.6 cent in 2016.
Persons at risk of poverty are those living in a household with an equivalised disposable income below the risk-of-poverty threshold. This threshold is set at 60 per cent of the national median equivalised disposable income (after social transfers).