In the majority of Member States, "Wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services" was the economic activity providing the most employment in 2016. The highest percentages were observed in Greece (33.3% of total employment), Cyprus (31.9%), Spain (30.3%) and Ireland (28.5%). In seven Member States, "Public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities" came top, notably in Sweden (34.1%), Denmark (30.8%), Belgium (30.6%) and France (30.1%), according to Eurostat.
Industry was the main employer in the Czech Republic (29.0%), Poland (23.7%) and Slovenia (22.7%), while agricultural activity was still the largest employer in Romania (24.0%).
Significant changes in employment over the last 20 years took place mainly in industry, public administration and agriculture. Compared with 1996, the share of industry in total employment had decreased in all EU Member States by 2016, with the largest falls recorded in Malta (from 26.0% in 1996 to 11.9% in 2016, or -14.1 pp), Slovenia (-8.9 pp), the United Kingdom (-7.7 pp) and Luxembourg (-7.3 pp).
A similar trend can be observed for "Agriculture, forestry and fishing". Its share in employment decreased between 1996 and 2016 in every EU Member State. The largest fall was recorded in Romania (from 40.9% to 24.0%, or -16.9 pp), followed by Lithuania (-12.6 pp), Hungary (-9.6 pp), Latvia (-7.1 pp) and Greece (-6.8 pp).
In contrast, the share of "Public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities" has increased in most Member States over the last 20 years, and most strongly in Romania (from 7.2% to 13.6%, or +6.4 pp), Slovenia (+4.5 pp), Luxembourg (+4.2 pp), Belgium (+4.0 pp), Greece (+3.5 pp) and Portugal (+3.4 pp). It decreased in Bulgaria (-3.3 pp), Italy (-1.2 pp), Slovakia (-0.9 pp), Lithuania (-0.7 pp), Sweden (-0.5 pp) and France (-0.3 pp), Eurostat writes.
In the Czech Republic, the share of "Public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities" is the third lowest in the EU.
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