Eurozone: Labour market remains in dire straits as unemployment hits new record high
July 1, 2013
According to data released by Eurostat on 1 July, the number of unemployed increased by 67,000 persons in May. The figure came in above the 55,000 new job seekers recorded in April and marked the 24th consecutive increase in the number of unemployed. As a result of the monthly rise, the unemployment rate hit 12.1%, which was above the revised 12.0% observed in April (previously reported: +12.2%) but below market expectations of 12.3%. The figure represents a new record high for the common currency area.
A country-based analysis confirms the ongoing divergence in labour market developments between the core European nations and the peripheral economies. Spain (26.9%), Greece (26.8%, data from March) and Portugal (17.6%) were the Euro area members with the highest unemployment rates in May. At the other end of the spectrum, Austria (4.7%), Germany (5.3%) and Luxembourg (5.7%) recorded the lowest unemployment rates. Among the remaining major economies, Italy had the highest jobless rate (12.2%), followed by France (10.4%).
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect the unemployment rate to average 12.0% in 2013, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel expects the unemployment rate to average 11.8%.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions