Eurozone Unemployment Rate Hovering around 12 Percent

Written by | Saturday, May 10th, 2014

The European statistical office, Eurostat, has reported that the average eurozone unemployment rate was 11.8 percent in March this year, marking a stable pattern of positive development since December 2013. This year’s joblessness rate is nevertheless an improvement compared to last March’s unemployment rate of 12 percent albeit only by 0.2 percentage points. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.9 percent last March whereas this March the entire EU also reported an improvement of 0.4 percentage points to 10.5 percent. Eurostat estimates that almost 26 million Europeans were jobless in March of whom almost 19 million where in the common currency area. Among the Member States, the lowest joblessness was reported in Austria and Germany, both of whom had unemployment rate of around 5 percent, and Luxembourg followed with 6.1 percent. On the other side of the labour market spectrum stood Greece and Spain which both have unemployment higher than 25 percent.
When compared to March 2013, joblessness increased in ten Member States, remained the same in three of them, and decreased in fifteen states. The highest increases in joblessness rate were reported in Cyprus, the Netherland, Italy, and Croatia. In contrast, the best performers in bringing down unemployment rate were Hungary, Latvia, Portugal, and Ireland.
As to youth joblessness, between March 2013 and March 2014, the number of unemployed young persons (under 25) in EU28 decreased by 322,000 to 5.340 million, while youth unemployment in the euro area went down by 322,000 to 3.426 million were in the euro area. In March 2014, the youth unemployment rate was 22.8% in the EU28 and 23.7% in the euro area, compared with 23.5% and 24.0% respectively in March 2013. Geographic breakdown shows that youth unemployment tends to follow the pattern of general joblessness. The lowest unemployment among the young was in Germany (7.8 percent), Austria (9.5 percent), and the Netherlands (11.3 percent), while the worst performers were Greece (56.8 percent), Spain (53.9 percent), and Croatia (49 percent in the first quarter of 2014). The EU figures stand in a sharp contrast with the United States where the March 2014 unemployment rate was 6.7 percent, having fallen from 7.5 percent in March 2013.

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