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%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist