Eurozone: Unemployment closes 2019 rate at over 11-year low
January 30, 2020
Labor market conditions in the common currency bloc improved in December, according to data released by Eurostat. The number of unemployed people decreased by 34,000, and the unemployment rate edged down from November’s 7.5% to 7.4% in December. The figure represents the lowest unemployment rate since May 2008.
Looking at the countries with data available, five economies saw their unemployment rates inch down in December, including Spain and the Netherlands. In contrast, four economies saw their unemployment rates rise, while the rest of the bloc saw unchanged labor market conditions—including France, Germany and Italy.
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 (16.6%, data refers to October), followed by Spain (13.7%). At the other end of the spectrum, Germany (3.2%), the Netherlands (3.2%) and Malta (3.4%) have the lowest unemployment rates.