EU unemployment rises above 12%

Press Releases

30 Apr 2013

The latest EU unemployment figures show that the overall rate of unemployment in the Eurozone in March 2013 is now 12.1%, up from 12.0% in February 2013 and a significant increase on the March 2012 figure of 11.0%. In the EU27, the March 2013 figure is 10.9%, up from the 10.3% recorded in March 2012.

Andrea Broughton, Principal Research Fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies comments:

‘Eurostat estimates that over 26.5 million people are now out of work in the EU. The unemployment rate rose over the past year in 19 EU Member States and fell in eight.

‘Greece still has the highest unemployment rate, recording 27.2% (January 2013 figures), followed closely by Spain, with 26.7%. The highest increases in unemployment over the past 12 months were also registered in Greece, followed by Cyprus - where the rate has jumped from 10.7% to 14.2% - Spain and Portugal.

‘At the other end of the scale, the unemployment rate is lowest in Austria, at 4.7%, Germany, at 5.4% and Luxembourg, at 5.7%.

‘Youth unemployment continues to rise, despite the EU's best efforts to stem the tide. Eurostat now estimates that over 5.6 million young people under 25 are unemployed in the EU27. The youth unemployment rate now stands at 24.0% in the Eurozone and 23.5% in the EU27. In Greece, the youth unemployment rate, now at 59.1% (January 2013 figures), continues to rise towards the 60% mark. Other countries with high youth unemployment rates include Spain (55.9%), Italy (38.4%) and Portugal (38.3%).

‘The countries that are most successful in ensuring that young people are in employment are Germany and Austria, where the youth unemployment rate is just 7.6%. These countries operate a dual training system, which provides learning and work experience in workplaces. This gives young people valuable contact with the labour market and enables employers to get to know them, increasing the likelihood that the employer will offer them work after the placement. This goes some way towards explaining these large differences in youth unemployment rates around the EU, which were also in evidence before the crisis hit.’


About Andrea

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 has undertaken a number of European labour market research projects.

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.