EU unemployment falling but under-25s still struggling
30 Apr 2015
Andrea Broughton, IES Principal Research Fellow, comments on today's Eurostat unemployment statistics:
'As the European economy continues to move into growth, the impact on the labour market is now being felt. The latest EU unemployment figures show that the overall rate of unemployment in the Eurozone in March 2015 was 11.3 per cent, stable when compared with the month before, and down from the 11.7 per cent recorded at the same time last year. Given the fact that the economic situation is now picking up, it is a little disappointing not to see more downwards movement in the unemployment figures on a month-by-month basis.
'The rate for the EU28 was down, from 10.4 per cent in March 2014 to 9.8 per cent in March 2015. Compared with March last year, unemployment decreased by just over 1.5 million in the EU28, and by 679,000 in the euro area.
'There is still a wide gap in the labour market performance of individual Member States: the lowest unemployment rate was recorded in Germany (4.7 per cent) and the highest in Greece (25.7 per cent in January 2015). Germany has consistently performed well in terms of its labour market, but it is worrying to see that the jobless rate is still so high in some European countries.
'Unemployment is now falling in the majority of Member States: 22 countries registered a drop in the figures in the year to March 2015, with the largest falls experienced in Ireland and Spain. However, it is disappointing to see that some countries experienced an increase in unemployment: Croatia, Finland, Italy, France and Belgium.
'The main headache for European policymakers remains youth unemployment, which continues to be unacceptably high across the EU and in some Member States in particular. There are signs that the situation might be improving, with youth unemployment rates falling in both the EU28 and the Eurozone in the last year. However, young people are likely to continue to struggle to gain access to the labour market, particularly in countries such as Spain and Greece, where the jobless rate among the under-25s is over 50 per cent.'
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: http://www.employment-studies.co.uk/staff/andrea-broughton
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