EU employment turning a corner but leaving Spain and Greece behind

Press Releases

30 Jun 2015

Andrea Broughton, IES Principal Research Fellow, comments on today’s European unemployment figures, released by Eurostat:

‘It looks as though European labour markets may have turned a corner: the latest figures from Eurostat show that unemployment in the Eurozone was 11.1 per cent in May 2015, which the lowest rate recorded since March 2012. The rate in the EU28 was 9.6 per cent, the lowest since July 2011.

‘This is encouraging news and signals that the European labour market is picking up after some years of rising joblessness. Overall, the number of people who are unemployed in the EU28 decreased by 38,000 between April and May 2015. The unemployment rate fell in 22 Member States.

‘However, there is a still a great deal of variation between Member States, with Germany continuing to perform best (with a jobless rate of 4.7 per cent) and Greece and Spain continuing to suffer high unemployment levels of 25.6 per cent and 22.5 per cent respectively.

‘Youth unemployment also looks to be decreasing, to 20.6 per cent in the EU28 and 22.1 per cent in the Eurozone in May 2015, down from 22.2 per cent and 23.8 per cent in May 2014. This is good news for the millions of young people in Europe who are struggling to gain access to the labour market. However, jobless rates for those under 25 are still significantly higher than for the population as a whole, which means that a concerted and sustained policy response at EU level and in individual Member States is still urgently needed. In Greece and Spain, youth unemployment is still extremely high, at almost 50 per cent, a situation that is unlikely to ease in Greece at least over the coming months, given the current financial instability there.’


About IES

The Institute for Employment Studies is the UK’s leading independent, not-for-profit centre for research and evidence-based consultancy on employment, the labour market, and HR policy and practice.

About Andrea Broughton

Andrea joined IES in 2006 and has over 20 years' experience of research and writing in the areas of employment relations and industrial relations, specialising in international comparative research. Specific areas of interest include workplace-level industrial relations, European social dialogue, employee involvement, restructuring and change management, health and wellbeing issues and work-life balance issues.

Andrea's online CV:

IES tweets from @EmploymtStudies