Eurozone unemployment rate sticks at record high

2 Apr 13
The eurozone jobless rate remained at a record high of 12% in February, according to the latest monthly figures published by Eurostat today.

Data from the European Union’s statistical service reveals that an estimated 19.07 million people were out of work across the 17 members of the single currency, up 1.76 million from February 2012 when the jobless rate was 10.9%.

The number of people out of work in the eurozone increased by 33,000 in February over January, when the unemployment rate was originally given as 11.9% but has since been rounded up to 12%.

Unemployment remains highest in Greece at 26.4%, according to the most recent figures available to Eurostat, which are for December 2012. Meanwhile, Spain’s unemployment rate crept up from 26.2% in January 2013 to 26.3% in February.

Conversely, the lowest eurozone unemployment rates were recorded by Austria (4.8%), Germany (5.4%), Luxembourg (5.5%) and the Netherlands (6.2%).

Across the EU as a whole, the jobless rate increased from 10.8% in January to 10.9% in February as a further 76,000 people fell out of work. An estimated 26.34 million people are now unemployed in the EU, up 1.8 million from a year earlier.

Youth unemployment remained at historically high levels in both the eurozone and EU as a whole in February, with 23.9% of under-25s out of work in the single currency bloc – compared with 24% in January – and 23.5% unemployed in the EU – the same as the previous month.

The figures reveal that more than half of young people were out of work in both Spain (55.7%) and Greece (58.4% as of December).

Europe’s jobless rates continue to compare unfavourably with both the US, which recorded a 7.7% unemployment rate in February, and Japan, where 4.2% of people were out of work in January.

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