Youth unemployment now nearing 60% in Greece

Press Releases

1 Mar 2013

The latest EU unemployment figures show that the overall rate of unemployment in the Eurozone in January 2013 continues to increase. The rate stands at 11.9% in January 2013, compared with 11.8% the previous month, and is a significant increase on the 10.8% recorded in January 2012.

The unemployment rate in the EU27 was 10.8% in January 2013, up from 10.7% in December 2012, and again an increase on the 10.1% recorded in January 2012.

Andrea Broughton, principal research fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies, comments:

‘This data is worrying as the trend is very much upwards, particularly when looking at the rise over the past 12 months.

‘Further, there remain huge discrepancies between EU Member States, pointing to a significant north-south divide in the EU. At the lowest end are Austria, with an unemployment rate of just 4.9%, and Germany and Luxembourg, each with an unemployment rate of 5.3% (stable compared with the previous month). This contrasts with Greece, where the rate is 27.0% (November 2012 figure) Spain, with a rate of 26.2%, and Portugal, with a rate of 17.6%.

‘Youth unemployment continues to increase in the EU, with an average rate for the under-25s of 23.6% in the EU27 Member States. In Greece, the youth unemployment rate is now almost 60% - a rate of 59.4% was recorded in November 2012 (the most recent figures for Greece). In Spain, the youth unemployment figure is 55.5%. Although the strength of the family in these countries has outdoubtedly mitigated the financial impact of high unemployment among young people, the EU is aware that urgent action is required to avoid the creation of a 'lost generation' of young people who have been denied access to work.

‘The EU's new Youth Guarantee urges Member States to ensure that all young people receive a quality offer of work, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. There are hopes that this will have an impact on the prospects of the under-25s, although any dents in the unemployment figures are unlikely to be seen for some time.’


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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.