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Europe / Unemployment Sets Another Record

Eurostat estimates that 26.521 million men and women in the EU-27, of whom 19.211 million were in the euro area (EA-17), were unemployed in March 2013. Compared with February 2013, the number of persons unemployed increased by 69.000 in the EU-27 and by 62.000 in the euro area. Compared with March 2012, unemployment rose by 1 814 000 in the EU-27 and by 1 723 000 in the euro area.

The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 12.1 % in March 2013, up from 12.0 % in February, it was 11.0 % in March 2012. The EU-27 unemployment rate was 10.9 % in March 2013, stable compared with February; it was 10.3 % in March 2012.

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Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.7 %), Germany (5.4 %) and Luxembourg (5.7 %), and the highest rates in Greece (27.2 % in January), Spain (26.7 %) and Portugal (17.5 %)…

Unemployment trends

At the beginning of 2000, about 20 million persons were unemployed in the EU-27, corresponding to 9 % of the total labour force. The unemployment trend at that moment was downwards. In the first quarter of 2001 the number of unemployment persons had dropped to just above 19 million and the unemployment rate to 8.5 %. A long period of increasing unemployment followed. At the end of 2004 the number of jobseekers available for work reached 21.3 million, while the unemployment rate was at 9.2 %.

At the beginning of 2005 a period of steadily declining unemployment started, lasting until the first quarter 2008. At that time, EU-27 unemployment hit a low of 16 million persons (equivalent to a rate of 6.8 %) before rising sharply in the wake of the economic crisis. Between the second quarter 2008 and mid-2010 the unemployment level went up by more than 7 million, taking the rate up to 9.7 %, at that time the highest value recorded since the start of the series in 2000. The decline of both the unemployment level and rate in the following three quarters was a deceptive sign of the end of the crisis and of a stable improvement of the labour market conditions in the EU-27. As a matter of facts, since the second quarter 2011 and until the end of 2012 unemployment has steadily and markedly increased taking unemployment to the record level of nearly 26 million, corresponding to a record rate of 10.7 %.

Youth unemployment trends

Youth unemployment rates are generally much higher than unemployment rates for all ages. Until the end of 2008, the youth unemployment rate in the EU-27 has been around twice as high as the rate for the total population, reaching its minimum value (18.1 %) in the first quarter 2008. The economic crisis, however, seems to have hit the young more than other age groups. From the beginning of 2009, the gap between the youth and the total unemployment rates has increased, so that at the end of 2012 the youth unemployment rate was 2.6 times the total rate. The EU-27 youth unemployment rate was systematically higher than in the euro area between 2000 and mid-2007. Since then and until the third quarter 2010 these two rates have been very close. Afterwards the indicator has moved more sharply in the EA-17 than in the EU-27, first downwards, until mid-2011, then upwards until the end of 2012 (see also Figure 5). In the middle of 2012 the euro area youth unemployment rate has overtaken the EU-27 rate, and the gap has increased until the end of the year.

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Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor

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via Unemployment statistics – Statistics Explained.


European Unemployment Sets Another Record 

The euro zone jobless rate rose to a record 12.1 percent in March, a sharp reminder that unemployment remains among the region’s biggest problems.

The unemployment rate in the 17-nation currency union ticked up by one-tenth of a percentage point from February, when the previous record was set, Eurostat, the statistical agency of the European Union, reported from Luxembourg. A year earlier, euro zone joblessness stood at 11 percent.

A separate report Tuesday from Eurostat showed inflation dropping sharply in the euro zone, well below the European Central Bank’s target of 2 percent a year. The annualized rate of inflation for consumer prices was just 1.2 percent in April 2013, down from March, when inflation stood at 1.7 percent.

The reports, along with other recent data suggesting that the economy is healing more slowly than many had hoped, could prompt the European Central Bank to take action at its policy meeting on Thursday. The central bank could cut its key interest-rate target, already at a record low of 0.75 percent, by a quarter point, economists say, though the impact of such a move would probably be slight, because banks remain less than eager to lend.

“Stabilizing the peripheral euro zone countries will take at least until the end of 2013,” Ralph Solveen, an economist with Commerzbank in Frankfurt, said. As a result, he said, unemployment would probably keep rising “until next spring.”

For the 27-nation European Union, the March jobless rate was unchanged, at 10.9 percent. Eurostat estimated that 26.5 million men and women were now unemployed in Europe, including 5.7 million young people.

Both the euro zone and European Union jobless figures are the highest Eurostat has reported since it began keeping the data in 1995 in the days before the euro. In comparison, the unemployment rate in the United States was 7.6 percent in March.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor


via European Unemployment Sets Another Record –


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