Eurozone Unemployment January 2015


Eurozone: Eurozone labor market continues to recover

February 2, 2016

The labor market in the common-currency bloc strengthened at the beginning of 2016, providing a mild comfort to a region seeing slowing economic growth and dismal inflation data. The number of unemployed persons fell by 105,000 in January, which was more than double the revised decrease of 51,000 job seekers registered in December (previously reported: 49,000) and continued to show a recovery, albeit gradual, in the labor market. The unemployment rate in January was 10.3%, which was a notch below the 10.4% registered in December. January’s rate represented the lowest since September 2011, according to Eurostat.

Looking at the countries in the region, drops in the unemployment rate were observed in Cyprus, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Spain. However, notable divergences persist in the labor market between core Eurozone countries and the peripheral ones. Greece is by far the economy in the Eurozone with the highest unemployment rate (24.6%, data refer to November), followed by Spain (20.5%) and Cyprus (15.3%).

On the other end of the spectrum, Germany (4.3%), Malta (5.1%) and Luxembourg (5.8%) registered the lowest unemployment rates in the Eurozone in January. Among the remaining major economies, Italy had the highest unemployment rate with 11.5%, followed by France with 10.2%.

In the 2015 as a whole, unemployment in the Eurozone averaged 10.9%, which is the lowest average rate since 2012. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the unemployment rate to average 10.4% in 2016, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2017, the panel expects the unemployment rate to average 10.0%.

Author:, Senior Economist

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Eurozone Unemployment Chart

Euro Unemployment January 2015

Note: Unemployment, % of active population. Data for Estonia refer to December. Data for Greece refer to November.
Source: Eurostat.

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