Eurozone Unemployment May 2018


Eurozone: Unemployment rate stable in May

July 2, 2018

According to data released by Eurostat, labor market conditions in the common currency bloc were largely steady in May. The number of unemployed people fell 125,000, and the unemployment rate held firm at 8.4%. Unemployment is resting at the lowest rate since December 2008.

Looking at the countries in the region, Austria, Cyprus, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Spain saw improvements in their labor markets. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate was unchanged in eight other economies. Portugal was the only country where the unemployment rate rose.

Despite the overall improvement in the Eurozone over recent years, disparities in the labor market among countries persist. Greece is the economy in the Eurozone with by far the highest unemployment rate (20.1%, data refers to March), followed by Spain (15.8%) and Italy (10.7%). At the other end of the spectrum, Germany (3.4%) and Malta (3.9%) have the lowest unemployment rates. In addition, youth unemployment remains particularly pronounced in the periphery, coming in at 43.2% in Greece (data refers to March), 33.8% in Spain and 31.9% in Italy.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the unemployment rate to average 8.4% in 2018, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2019, the panel expects the unemployment rate to average 7.9%.


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Eurozone Unemployment Chart

Euro Unemployment May 2018

Note: Unemployment, % of active population. Data for Estonia refers to April and data for Greece refers to March.
Source: Eurostat.

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