EU jobless rate continues to fall
31 Jul 2015
Andrea Broughton, IES Principal Research Fellow, comments on today’s European unemployment figures, released by Eurostat:
Unemployment in the European Union appears to be on a downward trend: the latest figures from Eurostat show that the jobless rate was 11.1 per cent in the Eurozone in June 2015, down from 11.6 per cent in June 2014 and stable when compared with the previous month. In the EU28, the rate also fell year-on-year, from 10.2 per cent in June 2014 to 9.6 per cent in June 2015, and also stable when compared with the previous month. Compared with June 2014, the actual number of those without a job fell by 1.448 million in the EU28 and by 811,000 in the Eurozone.
These average figures mask a wide variation across countries, however, with the jobless rate ranging from 4.7 per cent in Germany and 4.9 per cent in the Czech Republic, to 25.6 per cent in Greece and 22.5 per cent in Spain. This demonstrates the continuing uneven economic and labour market performance across EU Member States, as some emerge well from the recession, while others continue to struggle.
Youth unemployment remains the biggest policy headache for the EU, however, and although the figures appear to be falling, unemployment among the under-25s is still far higher than for the population as a whole, at 20.7 per cent in the EU28 and 22.5 per cent in the euro area. Other countries are still grappling with very high youth unemployment rates, of over 50 per cent and nearly 50 per cent for Greece and Spain respectively, and over 40 per cent in the case of Italy and Croatia. The EU has a range of measures in place to try to boost labour market participation for young people and it is hoped that this will begin to have an impact on youth unemployment rates in the coming months.
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.
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