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%.