Eurozone Unemployment


Unemployment steady in December

According to data released by Eurostat on 1 February, the number of unemployed increased by 16,000 persons in December. The figure was down from the 63,000 new job seekers recorded in November (previously reported: +113,000) and marked the 20th consecutive increase in the number of unemployed. Despite the monthly rise, the unemployment rate was steady at the 11.7% recorded in November, contrasting market expectations that unemployment would pick up to 11.9%. In the full-year 2012, unemployment averaged 11.4%, which marked the highest full-year reading since the inception of the Euro area and was broadly in line with FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast expectations.

At a country level, Greece (26.8%, data from October) and Spain (26.1%) were the Euro area members with the highest unemployment rates in December. At the other end of the spectrum, Austria (4.3%), Luxembourg and Germany (both at 5.3%) recorded the lowest unemployment rates. Among the remaining major economies, Italy had the highest unemployment rate (11.2%), followed by France (10.6%).

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