EU unemployment continues to rise

Press Releases

21 Jun 2012

Eurostat issued the latest European unemployment figures this morning; Andrea Broughton, Principal Research Fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies, comments:

‘Unemployment in the EU continues to climb steadily, despite the efforts of EU policymakers to curb the labour market effects of the financial crisis. The latest figures from Eurostat show that unemployment across the EU rose to its highest level yet, of 11.1% in the Eurozone, and 10.3% across the EU27. This compares with May 2011 figures of 10% in the Eurozone and 9.5% in the EU27.

‘Unemployment rates for both men and women are rising. However, the greatest concern for EU policymakers remains youth unemployment, which is more than twice the average rate for the whole working population, and is continuing to rise: unemployment for the under-25s was 22.7% in the EU and 22.6% in the Eurozone in May 2012. There also remains a large national variation in youth jobless rates, ranging from 7.9% in Germany to over 52% in Greece and Spain.

‘EU policymakers and stakeholders are aware of this potential catastrophe of creating a “lost generation”, but so far appear powerless to halt the rising jobless figures among young people. This is a huge problem to tackle, but it is essential that young people are encouraged to develop skills that are in demand and that they are given the chance to obtain meaningful work experience that enables them to gain a foothold in the labour market.’


The Eurostat data issued this morning can be found here: