The unemployment rate among Spain’s under-25s rose to 50.5pc in January, and to 50.4pc in Greece in December, according to the latest available data from Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office. It compared with an average eurozone youth unemployment rate of 21.6pc. One of the lowest rates of youth unemployment is in Germany, where it remained at 8.2pc in February.
The rise in Spain and Greece reflects the deep financial woes of both countries, which are in the midst of far-reaching and highly unpopular austerity programmes, considered necessary by the broader EU to reduce huge deficits.
Spain’s unemployment rate now stands at 23.6pc, compared with a eurozone average of 10.8pc. The extent of Spain’s problems are further underlined by a housing market in crisis, with prices expected to fall the most on record this year. One-in-four homeowners in the country owes more than their property is worth.
Andrea Broughton, Principal Research Fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies, said EU policymakers were facing an “uphill struggle” to reverse rising unemployment.
“Present concerns over the euro, the debt problems of some member states, public spending cuts and austerity measures across many EU member states mean that the unemployment rate is unlikely to fall significantly in the EU in the near future,” she said…
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