Eurozone Unemployment March 2018

Eurozone

Eurozone: Unemployment rate steadies in March

May 2, 2018

Conditions in the labor market of the common currency bloc were broadly unchanged in March, according to data by Eurostat. The number of unemployed fell by 83,000 and the unemployment rate came in at February’s 8.5% in March. The unemployment rate rests at the lowest result since December 2008.

Looking at the countries in the region with data available, several of the economies saw improvements in their labor markets, including Cyprus, France, Germany and Spain. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate was unchanged in six economies, including Italy. Lithuania was the only country to see the unemployment rate rise in March.

Despite gains over the past years, notable divergences continue to 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 (20.6%, data refer to January), followed by Spain (16.1%) and Italy (11.0%). At the other end of the spectrum, Germany (3.4%) and Malta (3.3%) have the lowest unemployment rates. In addition, youth unemployment remains particularly pronounced in the periphery and came in at 42.3% in Greece (data refers to January), 35.0% in Spain and 31.7% in Italy.

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


Author: Angela Bouzanis, Senior Economist

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