European Unemployment

In July 2020, 2.906 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU, of whom 2.338 million were in the euro area. In July 2020, the youth unemployment rate was 17.0 % in the EU and 17.3 % in the euro area, up from 16.9 % and 17.2 % respectively in the previous month. Compared with June 2020, youth unemployment increased by 37 000 in the EU and by 29 000 in the euro area. Reference: Eurostat

COVID-19 has taken its toll on the labour market and we can see its impact on unemployment rates all over the world.  And it is not only affecting youth unemployment.  Has COVID changed the way employers think and work?  We think it has and there seems to be a new trend across the globe.

As many employers allow employees to work from home, why not pay them when you need them, or more specifically for the jobs you need them for?  This seems ideal for an employer and not so fair for the employee, but let’s look at the pros and cons of this new trend.

Sure, having a full-time job and set monthly or weekly salary allows some security, but are we earning our maximum and are we getting what we are worth?  We have seen from COVID-19 that job security is not as secure as we once believed, with people being laid off daily due to stunned economic growth in some countries and sectors, but not in all. 

So, let us weigh the advantages.  Let’s assume we work for 8 hours per day, 5 day per week, so 40 hours per week in total.    As Europe is very diverse and salaries per country vary, and even region are different, we will use an example of an HTML developer.  In Europe, depending on the country we see annual salaries ranging from €10,000 to €54,000.  For the example let’s use a number somewhere in the middle, let’s say €30,000 per year.  That’s about €577 per week, or €14.40 per hour.  How many hours per week are you developing HTML for your employer?  It would make sense for an employer to contract someone for a specific job and pay them by the hour, especially when it is a once of job or a small project that does not need a full-time employee. 

So, the employer manages to save but what happens to you now.  Well, who said you can’t have more than one employer?   If employers are able to “subcontract” employees for specific jobs, why can’t you do the same?  What’s even better, you can now choose the jobs which are better suited for your, and those that pay more.  Let’s see how it works in numbers;

There are currently over 27 million enterprises in the EU alone, and all of them need services and jobs to be done, and if many of them are now starting to outsource jobs, your market just opened up big time.  Let’s assume for the example that you can secure 1 new job per day, to do some custom HTML development, (it’s really not that hard to get 1 job a day) each job will be charged at 10 to 15 hours work, but it will only take you 4 to 6 hours of actual coding and testing for each job.  That means that you can get 22 jobs at 12 hours each per month.  Let’s do the math, 22x12x€14.40 = €3801.60 per month.  This is assuming that you are charging €14.40 per hour.  In most cases people who do freelance projects charge more per hour.  Let’s take a European average rate of €20 per hour, resulting in monthly earnings of €5280 for 1 job per day.  Even at half the work load, you will still be earning more than you would as a full-time employee.

Now some would argue that getting one job per day is unlikely, while other can show that getting several jobs per day is possible and in many cases having to turn down offers because they can’t handle the requests.  There will always be a demand for work to be done, every company and even individuals need work done that they are unable to do on their own and don’t want to employ someone full time for it.  Just make sure you are visible and they will find you.  Remember each happy customer is also a potential repeat customer. 

Remember that it is your legal obligation to declare earning in your country and to pay taxes accordingly on all earnings.

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