Unemployment rate stable in December
According to data released by Eurostat, labor market conditions in the common currency bloc were broadly stable in December. The number of unemployed people decreased by 75,000, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at November’s 7.9% in December. The result remains the lowest unemployment rate since October 2008.
Looking at the countries with data available, seven economies saw their unemployment rates drop in December, including Italy and Spain. In contrast, Latvia, Lithuania and the Netherlands saw their unemployment rates edge up.
Despite a large overall improvement in the Eurozone over recent years, disparities in the labor market among core and periphery countries persist. Greece is the economy in the Eurozone with by far the highest unemployment rate (18.6%, data refers to October), followed by Spain (14.3%) and Italy (10.3%). At the other end of the spectrum, Germany (3.3%) and the Netherlands (3.6%) have the lowest unemployment rates.