Economic Context

Working population

The Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg has a population of 563.000 inhabitants (1st of January 2015) with a population growth of 0.23%. The growth since 1991 is more than 43%. The proportion of foreigners is about 45.9% of the total population. 70 nationalities live in Luxembourg with 86% of the foreigners coming from another European country. 69.1% of the population is in the working age, between 15 and 64 years. The unemployment rate is 6.9% (June 2015). The total domestic employment is composed of 392.131 employees (March 2014) with around 70% of the country’s workforce composed of immigrants or cross-border employees. The ratio of cross-border employees grew from 3% in 1961 to 44% in 2010.


Sectors of the economy

The VET offer reflects the needs of the Luxembourgish economy as the social partners, represented trough the professional chambers for employers and employees, are closely involved in the definition of the VET offer and the suggestion of new trades and professions. The curricula framework of new VET programmes are elaborated by curricular teams (équipes curriculaires) and national vocational committees (commissions nationales de formation). A curricular team is composed of experts from the educational side and from the labour market and is in charge of a specific trade or profession or a group of trades or professions. Hence, through labour market experts the economic sectors closely cooperate in the definition of the learning outcomes to be developed and assessed in a specific VET programme.


Labour market structure and development

Luxembourg's economy has undergone intensive structural changes in the last decades. From an industrial economy, it evolved into an economy where the tertiary sector prevails. Comparing the 1994 data with those of 2014 (IGSS, 2014), the shift from sectors continues: in 1994, the industrial sector still accounted for almost 20% of employment, while in 2014 it represented only 8.4%. Moreover, the sectors grouped under "Others", the "Services" and the "Professional, scientific and technical" sector experienced the strongest growth. Wage employment in the "Services" sector almost doubled going from 5.4% in 1994 to 8.2% in 2014. The employment in the "professional, scientific and technical" sector has more than doubled, from 3.3% in 1994 to 8.0% in 2014.

Graduates from technical secondary education account for 58% of the total number of graduated learners in 2013, among which the graduates from vocational programmes are the most numerous, followed by graduates from the technical programmes.

Luxembourg Education levels in the EU 2015

As shown in the above figure (Source: Eurostat, 2015, Table: lfsa_pgaed), the share of the population that has completed tertiary education is amongst the highest in the European Union. The share of the population with a level of education below primary and lower secondary education is close to the EU28 average. Finally, the share of population with an upper secondary level is lower than the EU28 level.


Business environment

Luxembourg’s economy ranks high on the ease of doing business index of the World Bank compared to the neighbouring countries and the regional average. It also ranks higher than France and Belgium on the ease of starting a business index, but slightly lower than Germany. [1]

As the following figure shows, Luxembourg’s economy is characterized by small and medium sized enterprises with less than 249 employees.

0 employees 1-4 5-19 20-49 50-249 Over 250
14365 companies 10196 5284 1294 709 158

(STATEC 2015[2])


Regional differences

No real differences exist in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg because of the limited area of 2’586 square kilometres. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg extends from north to south over a maximum distance of 82 km and 57 km from east to west. Regarding education and training programmes, there are no regional differences as the system is centralised and regulated by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth.


[1] Economy profile: Luxembourg, 2013.