Euro Area: Unemployment rate drops to record low in January
Labor market conditions in the common currency block improved in January. The number of unemployed people decreased by 214,000, with the unemployment rate falling to a record low of 6.8% in January from 7.0% in December.
Looking at countries, 12 economies saw their unemployment rates decrease in January, including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. On the other hand, five economies saw their unemployment rates increase. Meanwhile, two economies saw stable unemployment rates.
Disparities in the labor market among core and periphery countries persist. Greece (13.3%) and Spain (12.7%) are the economies with the highest unemployment rates. At the other end of the spectrum, Germany (3.1%) and Malta (3.1%) have the lowest unemployment rates.
Commenting on the release, Bert Colijn, senior economist at ING, stated:
“The tight labour market means that wage pressures continued to mount at the start of the year. Businesses indicate that they are looking to continue to hire in the months ahead as well, which corresponds with a further declining unemployment rate and further labour shortages emerging.”