Has the UK created more jobs than the rest of the EU combined?

9 June 2016
What was claimed

The UK has created more jobs than the rest of the EU put together.

Our verdict

The UK has seen a larger rise in employment than the rest of the EU combined. Some countries have seen employment fall since 2010, so the comparison isn't that useful.

"For the first five years I was Prime Minister our economy created more jobs than the rest of the EU put together"—David Cameron, 7 June 2016

The UK did see a larger increase in employment than the rest of the EU combined between 2010 and 2015, provided you compare between the first three months of each of these years. But it's not correct to describe these as 'jobs created'. The figures show the difference between people moving into and out of work.


Using figures from Eurostat, if you compare the first three months of 2010 and 2015, UK employment rose by just over two million. The net increase in employment across the rest of the EU was 1.8 million over the same period.

That's because in some EU countries—like Italy and Spain—employment fell, dragging down the rest of the EU's overall change.

Germany alone had higher employment growth than the UK over this period, of about 2.4 million.

The picture changes slightly if you take different periods for comparison. Comparing the second three months of 2010—covering the general election—to the same period in 2015, the UK's growth comes in at just under two million, with the EU's combined growth just over.

The picture has also changed more recently. Employment growth in 2015 was much larger in the combined EU outside the UK, partly because employment levels in Spain and Italy have been recovering.

Update 9 June 2016

We've updated this piece, previously published in 2015, with the latest figures.

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.