Eurozone Unemployment March 2016


Eurozone: Eurozone labor market improves in March

April 4, 2016

The labor market in the common-currency bloc continued to strengthen in March as the region continues to recover. The number of unemployed persons fell by 226,000, which followed February’s decrease of 39,000 job seekers. The unemployment rate in March was 10.2%, which was below the revised 10.4% registered in February (previously reported: 10.3%) and represented the lowest since August 2011, according to Eurostat.

Looking at the countries in the region, drops in the unemployment rate were observed almost across the board, with the only countries seeing a rise in the unemployment rate being Greece and Luxembourg. However, notable divergences persist in the labor market among core Eurozone countries and the peripheral ones. Greece is by far the economy in the Eurozone with the highest unemployment rate (24.4%, data refer to January), followed by Spain (20.4%) and Cyprus (12.1%).

On the other end of the spectrum, Germany (4.2%), Malta (4.7%) and Austria (5.8%) registered the lowest unemployment rates in the Eurozone in March. Among the remaining major economies, Italy had the highest unemployment rate with 11.4%, followed by France with 10.0%.

In 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 9.9% in 2016, which is down 0.4 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2017, the panel expects the unemployment rate to average 9.5%.


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Eurozone Unemployment Chart

Euro Unemployment March 2016

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

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