In the second quarter 2020, a total of 40.9 million persons were absent from work in the EU, an increase of 18.6 million compared to the first quarter 2020. This increase is almost exclusively due to a sharp increase in temporary lay-offs, which rose from 2.4 million persons to 19.3 million persons. The number of persons absent from work due to reasons not including lay-off, holiday or illness, rose from 4.9 million to 7.8 million between the two quarters.
In comparison to the first quarter 2020, all Member States for which data are available experienced a rise in overall absences from work in the second quarter 2020. The highest rates of absences were observed in Greece (39.6%), Cyprus (32.0%), Spain (27.9%) and France(27.7%) and the lowest rates in Bulgaria (10.9%), Latvia (12.0%) and Luxembourg(12.9%)