The Luxembourg employment market is a very active market with 5,5 % of unemployment rate in May 2019.
A dynamic employment market with many cross-border workers
The Luxembourg labour market is in line with the international and dynamic environment that characterises the country. At the end of the first quarter of 2019, the country had 431,462 employees, including 233,801 residents and 197,661 border residents. The majority of employees resident in Luxembourg are foreigners. More than 50% of employed residents are foreigners, 43% from the European Union and 7% from outside the EU. Multilingualism is a reality in the Luxembourg professional world. It is very easy to learn new languages or to improve one’s skills.
Luxembourg achieves an unemployment rate below the European average. The working opportunities attract a large number of border workers, in constant increase during the last decades. The capital of Luxembourg’s population doubles on working days.
More than 45% of the people working in Luxembourg are cross-border workers. According to the latest figures from Statec (1st quarter 2019), more than 197,661 cross-border workers cross the French, Belgian and German borders every day to work in Luxembourg and leave for France (103,775 employees), Belgium (47,156 employees) and Germany (43,731 employees) in the evening. The 200,000 cross-border workers mark was even crossed for the first time in April 2019. This also leads to traffic problems on motorways.
Luxembourg, country of services with a service economy
A powerful steel industry emerged in the middle of the 20th century in Luxembourg. Numerous industrial sites of the mining district in Southern Luxembourg testify of this past which gave its development and its wealth to the country. Afterward, with the oil chock of 1973 and the crisis which followed, the Luxembourg economy turned to services and the development of a services economy.
Now an international financial centre, Luxembourg is the first European centre of investment fund and shelters competitive and successful private banks, private asset management and insurance/reinsurance sectors.
The Luxembourg government has been aiming at an economic diversification for a few years, and has been encouraging the development of sectors such as communication and information technologies, logistics, e-commerce and biotechnologies, while favouring research and development.
In fact, it was the service, information and communication sectors that saw the largest increases in hiring (+ 32% jobs over the 2017T2 and 2018T2 periods) during the past year, particularly in accounting, temporary work and computer programming jobs.
At the end of 2018, the economic branches employing the most people were in decreasing order: trade / transport/accommodation /restaurant 99,046 jobs, or 23.1%), public administration and services (87,528 jobs, or 20.4%), specialised activities and support services (68.879 jobs (16.1%), financial and insurance activities (49,538 jobs (11.6%), construction (45,560 jobs (10.6%), industry (37,242 jobs (10.6%), information and communication (18,975 jobs (4.4%), other activities (21,120 jobs (4.93% of the active population).
Furthermore, Luxembourg has an important social and political stability convenient to the development, recognized by the confirmation of the AAA rating of major rating agencies.
Working population from private companies and european institutions
The most important private employers in Luxembourg
More and more international companies come to settle down in Luxembourg, in rapidly developing business districts such as Kirchberg or Cloche d’Or. It is the case among others of the big Luxembourg employers, that attract numerous senior executives seduced by the quality of life in Luxembourg.
In january 2019, the major employers in Luxembourg are (Source Statec):
- Groupe Post (postal services, telecommunication and banking – Luxembourg) employs 4,540 people, confirming its first place with 60 additional employees,
- Group CFL (passenger rail transport – Luxembourg) has 4,360 employees who also confirm their second place with 100 more employees,
- Cactus Group (services and retail shops – Bertrange) employs 4,320 people and maintains its 3rd place with 120 more employees,
- Dussmann Group (cleaning services – Contern) which gains a place with a workforce of 4,120 compared to 3,880 the previous year,
- BGL BNP Paribas (Finance sector – Luxembourg) which also gains a place with a workforce of 3,900 compared to 3,660 previously,
- Arcelor Mittal Group (industry sector – Luxembourg) which loses 2 places with a workforce of 3,810 against 4,120,
- Goodyear DunlopTires Operations SA (Manufacture of rubber products) headcount 3430 (-20 employees),
- Luxair SA (air passenger transport – Munsbach) employs 2,950 people compared to 2,820 previously and gains 1 place,
- PriceWaterHouseCoopers Group (audit, accounting services – Luxembourg) constant staff at 2,870 but one place less,
- Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (hospital activities – Luxembourg) staffed 2,360 compared to 2,270,
- Fondation Hôpitaux Robert Schuman (hospital activities – Luxembourg) with an increase of 30 employees, or 2,270 (+ 1 place in the ranking),
- Amazon. com (services – Luxembourg) constant workforce at 2,250,
- Deloitte Group (audit, accounting services – Luxembourg) 2,200 employees compared to 2,140 in 2018,
- Sodexo Luxembourg (catering activities – Bertrange) 2,140 compared to 2,030 the previous year
European civil servants
The European institutions operating in Luxembourg can also partially explain this constant flow of population according to the movements of the EU civil servants.
The Court of Justice, the Court of First Instance, the Court of Auditors, the European Investment Bank, the Secretarial Department of the European Parliament, and several services of the Commission are essentially located in Luxembourg-Kirchberg. You can moreover find the European School there.
Nowadays, more than 10,000 international EU civil servants are implanted in Luxembourg and constitute more than 5% of the resident working population.
Luxembourgish civil servants
Increasingly, the Luxembourg State is extending civil servant posts to candidates of non-Luxembourgish nationality.
To date, in addition to the study and professional training requirements for each position, candidates must be nationals of a Member State of the European Union, enjoy their civil and political rights and know the 3 administrative languages, namely Luxembourgish, French and German.
The unemployment rate in Luxembourg stood at 5.0% in December 2018 compared to 5.6% of the working population in December 2017, or just over 15,180 unemployed.