The UK, Estonia, Norway and Austria offer the best job prospects in Europe, according to a study that ranks employment prospects across the continent.
These countries have some of the lowest levels of youth unemployment in Europe, offer a wider range of skilled jobs and have the highest proportion of temporary contracts, said jobs website Glassdoor. Its research focused on eight indicators across 17 countries, including the level of involuntary part-time work and whether youth unemployment has improved since the financial crisis.
By contrast, Greece, Spain and Portugal offer the worst prospects for job seekers, said the report, whose findings are supported by official data. These countries have the highest unemployment rate in general, at 24.6pc, 21.6pc and 12.4pc respectively, according to separate figures from Eurostat.
"Greece, Spain and Portugal have continued to struggle with double-digit unemployment and slow economic growth - partly due to inflexible labour market regulations that have proven difficult to reform in recent years,” said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor.
Greece and Spain also have the highest levels of people aged under 25 out of work. Greece had a youth unemployment rate of 47.9pc as of August 2015, according to Eurostat, while in Spain the figure is about the same at 47.7pc.
In the UK, youth unemployment peaked at just over 20pc in 2011, but is now down to 17pc, close to the pre-crisis average of 15pc.
Temporary contracts, which tend to offer little flexibility, low pay and job security, are the most common in Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal, affecting more than 20pc of workers in each country. In comparison, only 6pc of workers in the UK are employed on temporary employment contracts.
While some workers prefer short-term contracts, the report pointed out that involuntary part-time work has increased across most European countries since 2008, except in Germany, Belgium and Sweden. The proportion of those who work part time, but would rather work full time, is highest in Italy, Spain and Ireland, at around one-in-10 workers.
The 28 countries in the EU account for just under a quarter of world GDP, outpacing the US' contribution of 22pc and China’s 13pc share.
Source: The Telegraph, 2015