Eurozone Unemployment February 2017


Eurozone: Unemployment rate falls in February

April 3, 2017

Conditions in the labor market of the common currency bloc improved in February, according to data by Eurostat. The number of unemployed persons fell by 140,000, which was a larger drop than January’s 77,000. The unemployment rate inched down from 9.6% in January to 9.5% in February, the lowest rate since May 2009.

Looking at the countries in the region, eight economies saw lower unemployment rates in February, including Ireland and Spain. In contrast, unemployment rose in Lithuania and was unchanged in the remaining countries. Notable divergences persist in the labor market among core Eurozone countries and those on the periphery. Greece is the economy in the Eurozone with by far the highest unemployment rate (23.1%, data refer to December), followed by Spain (18.0%) and Cyprus (18.2%).

At the other end of the spectrum, Germany (3.9%), Malta (4.1%) and the Netherlands (5.3%) registered the lowest unemployment rates in the Eurozone in February. Among the remaining major economies, Italy had the highest unemployment rate with 11.5%, followed by France with 10.0%.

In 2016 as a whole, unemployment in the Eurozone averaged 10.0%, which was the lowest average rate since 2009. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the unemployment rate to average 9.7% in 2017, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2018, the panel expects the unemployment rate to average 9.3%.


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Eurozone Unemployment Chart

Euro Unemployment February 2017

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

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