Eurozone Unemployment May 2016


Eurozone: Eurozone unemployment rate inches down in May

July 13, 2016

Conditions in the labor market in the common-currency bloc improved in May according to recently released data by Eurostat. The number of unemployed persons fell by 112,000, which followed April’s decrease of 75,000 job seekers. The unemployment rate in May inched down from April’s 10.2% to 10.1%, which represented the lowest rate since July 2011.

Looking at the countries in the region, drops in the unemployment rate were observed in the majority of the countries, with only three countries seeing a rise in the rate. However, notable divergences persist in the labor market among core Eurozone countries and those on the periphery. Greece is by far the economy in the Eurozone with the highest unemployment rate (23.3%, data refer to April), followed by Spain (19.8%) and Cyprus (12.0%).

At the other end of the spectrum, Malta (4.1%), Germany (4.2%) and Austria (6.1%) registered the lowest unemployment rates in the Eurozone in May. Among the remaining major economies, Italy had the highest unemployment rate with 11.5%, followed by France with 9.9%.

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 10.2% in 2016, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2017, the panel expects the unemployment rate to average 9.7%.

Author: Angela Bouzanis, Senior Economist

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Eurozone Unemployment Chart

Euro Unemployment May 2016

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

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