Eurozone Unemployment March 2017


Eurozone: Unemployment rate steady in March

May 2, 2017

Conditions in the labor market of the common currency bloc were broadly steady in March, according to data by Eurostat. The number of unemployed fell by 5,000, which was a smaller drop than February’s 123,000. However, the unemployment rate was unchanged at February’s 9.5% in March, the lowest rate since May 2009.

Looking at the countries in the region with available data, ten economies saw lower unemployment rates in March, including Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal. In contrast, unemployment rose in Austria and Finland 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 (23.5%, data refer to January), followed by Spain (18.2%) and Cyprus (12.5%).

At the other end of the spectrum, Germany (3.9%), Malta (4.1%) and the Netherlands (5.1%) registered the lowest unemployment rates in the Eurozone in March. Among the remaining major economies, Italy had the highest unemployment rate with 11.7%, followed by France with 10.1%.

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 9.4% in 2017, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2018, the panel expects the unemployment rate to average 9.0%.

Author: Angela Bouzanis, Lead Economist

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Eurozone Unemployment Chart

Euro Unemployment March 2017

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

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