What are the trends for the future? 
The employment level of workers in elementary occupations is expected to grow by over 10 per cent between 2018 and 2030, following on from growth of nearly 9 per cent between 2006 and 2018. This overall growth conceals differences between the various types of elementary occupations. Whereas employment for labourers in mining, construction, etc., is expected to increase in the period to 2030, employment as street and related sales and service workers is projected to fall.
Between 2018 and 2030 nearly 2.5 million new jobs will have been created. Employment growth of elementary workers is expected in 24 out of 28 European countries.
Figure 2: Future employment growth of elementary workers in European countries (2018-2030, in %)
But this near 10 per cent growth in employment understates the true of level of employment demand. Over the period 2018-2030 an estimated 13.5 million people are projected to leave the occupation for one reason or another such as retirement. Given the projected increase in employment over the same period, this will result in there being around 15.9 million job openings that will need to be filled between 2018 and 2030.
Figure 3: Future job openings of elementary workers (2018-2030)
Workers in elementary occupations span all sectors. Cleaners and helpers are employed mainly in administration and other services and other services. Most agricultural labourers work in the agriculture sector, as expected; and labourers in mining, construction and manufacturing are mainly found in manufacturing and wholesale and retail, and construction. Food preparation assistants are found mainly in the accommodation and retail sector and those in street and related sales mainly in wholesale and retail. Refuse workers are found across a variety of sectors with public administration having the highest concentration.
Historically, those employed in elementary occupations have had low or medium level qualifications, but over time there has been an increase in the overall level of qualification held by those working in the occupation. In 2018, 49 per cent had medium level qualifications, but this is projected to increase to 54 per cent by 2030. In contrast, 42 per cent of those in the occupation had low level qualifications in 2018 but this is projected to fall to 30 per cent by 2030. Between 2018 and 2030, those with high level qualifications are expected to increase from 9 per cent to 16 per cent.
More information on employment trends for this occupation can be found elsewhere on the Skills intelligence.