Eurozone: Unemployment hits new Euro-era high amid 22th straight rise
April 2, 2013
According to data released by Eurostat on 2 April, the number of unemployed increased by 33,000 persons in February. The figure was down from the 222,000 new job seekers recorded in January but marked nonetheless the 22th consecutive increase in the number of unemployed. As a result of the monthly rise, the unemployment rate climbed to 12.0%, which was in line with both the revised 12.0% observed in January (previously reported: 11.9%) and market expectations. The figure marks yet another record high for the common currency area.
A country-based analysis confirms the ongoing divergence in labour markets developments between the core European nations and the peripheral economies. Greece (26.4%, data from December), Spain (26.3%) and Portugal (17.5%) were the Euro area members with the highest unemployment rates in February. At the other end of the spectrum, Austria (4.8%), Germany (5.4%) and Luxembourg (5.5%) recorded the lowest unemployment rates. Among the remaining major economies, Italy had the highest jobless rate (11.6%), followed by France (10.8%), where, however, the unemployment rate is at its highest level in 14 years.
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