Tuesday

22nd Aug 2017

Eurozone unemployment hits new record

  • Southern countries are struggling most with unemployment and weak industrial output (Photo: European Commission)

Eurozone unemployment reached 10.8 percent in February, the highest level since the currency was introduced in 1999, according to the latest Eurostat data.

The statistics office estimated that more than 17.1 million men and women were out of work in February in the 17 states of the eurozone, 162,000 more than a month earlier and 1.48 million more than in 2011. The highest increases were registered in Greece (14.3% to 21.0% between December 2010 and December 2011), Spain (20.6% to 23.6%) and Cyprus (6.7% to 9.7%)

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Across the 27 EU member states, the unemployment average is slightly lower (10.2%) but also on an increasing trend compared to February 2011 (9.5%).

Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Germany have the lowest unemployment rates, with Germany registering a decrease from 6.3 percent in February 2011 to 5.7 percent this year.

Meanwhile in Spain, despite the government's efforts to open up labour markets, youth unemployment continues to rise, as 50.5 percent of people under 25 were out of a job in February, compared to 49.9 percent a month earlier and up from 44.4 percent in February 2011.

The unemployment statistics confirm that austerity-driven policies are putting the brakes on the eurozone economy, with manufacturing data gathered by Markit also at a three-month low in March. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a survey of 3,000 eurozone manufacturers, fell to 47.7 points in March from 49 points in February. A score below the neutral 50 mark indicates recession.

But the EU commission on Monday repeated its calls for countries to stick to their budget-deficit cutting measures.

"This is why, more than ever, it is important to carry out structural reforms in countries where the growth potential remains low and where we don't see the creation of new and better jobs," Amadeu Altafaj, the spokesman for economics commissioner Olli Rehn, said during a press conference.

But the changes are themselves being met with resistance. Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti faced his first coalition quarrels over labour market reforms last week, while Spain's premier, Mariano Rajoy, had to deal with his first general strike last week over EU-prescribed austerity measures.

EU unemployment hits record high

Twenty three million people in the EU are struggling to find jobs, as the economic crisis and austerity cuts unfold into severe social consequences.

France to hold jobs summit as unemployment hits 12-year high

A sharp rise in France's unemployment figures is putting pressure on President Nicolas Sarkozy to deliver, with over half the French population wanting the candidates for the spring presidential election to focus their energies on maintaining jobs.

Eurozone unemployment hits new record

More grim news for the 17-nation eurozone came out on Wednesday, as new figures showed that unemployment is at its highest since the birth of the single currency.

Airbnb too 'different' to pay EU tax

US home rental firm said its “model is unique” because most of the money stays in pockets of local people, as France and Germany prepare EU tax crackdown.

EU cautious with German diesel plan

The European Commission welcomed the German carmakers' pledge to update software in diesel cars, but is waiting for details on how emissions will be reduced.

News in Brief

  1. Austria has begun checks at Italian border
  2. Slovenian PM: Brexit talks will take longer than expected
  3. Merkel backs diesel while report warns of economic harm
  4. UK to publish new Brexit papers this week
  5. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  6. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  7. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  8. European Union returns to 2 percent growth

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressEuropean Governments Must Take Stronger Action Against Terrorism
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  3. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  4. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  5. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  6. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  9. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  11. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  12. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference