Unemployment across the 17 eurozone states hit an all-time high in May. Consumer price inflation rose for a second month in a row, with the spectre of deflation in recession hit Europe in the wings, according to the latest EU figures.
Unemployment rose 0.1 per cent in May, just slightly above the revised figure of 12.0 percent for April, but marginally below the original 12.2 percent, Eurostat said on Monday.
Economists polled by Reuters estimated an even gloomier forecast, expecting joblessness to reach 12.3 percent in May.
Across the currency union, 19.22 million people were unemployed, up 67,000 over the previous month. Germany, the bloc’s largest economy, saw its unemployment rate fall to 5.3 percent during that period, while unemployment in France, the area’s second largest economy, remained unchanged.
Italian unemployment breached the median mark of 12.1 percentage points, hitting 12.2 percent according to preliminary data from the Rome-based national statistics office Istat.
Spain, which is grappling with a youth unemployment epidemic which has surged to 56.5 percent, saw overall unemployment inch upwards to 26.9 per cent – the highest rate in the eurozone. Cyprus saw unemployment increase to 16.3 percent versus 15.8 per cent previously, while Greece, which is measured on a different time frame, registered a jobless rate of 26.8 percent in March.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor
In May 2013, 5.501 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU27, of whom 3.531 million were in the euro area. Compared with May 2012, youth unemployment decreased by 77 000 in the EU27 and increased by 60 000 in the euro area. In May 2013, the youth unemployment rate was 23.0% in the EU27 and 23.8% in the euro area, compared with 22.8% and 23.0% respectively in May 2012. In May 2013, the lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.6%), Austria (8.7%) and the Netherlands (10.6%), and the highest in Greece (59.2% in March 2013), Spain (56.5%) and Portugal (42.1%).