Eurozone: Unemployment hits new record as diverging trends between core and periphery intensify
April 30, 2013
According to data released by Eurostat on 30 April, the number of unemployed increased by 62,000 persons in March. The figure came in below the 50,000 new job seekers recorded in February and marked the 24th consecutive increase in the number of unemployed. As a result of the monthly rise, the unemployment rate hit 12.1%, which was above the 12.0% observed in February and in line with market expectations. The figure represents a new record high for the common currency area.
A country-based analysis confirms the ongoing divergence in labour markets developments between the core European nations and the peripheral economies. Greece (27.2%, data from January), Spain (26.7%) and Portugal (17.5%) were the Euro area members with the highest unemployment rates in March. At the other end of the spectrum, Austria (4.7%), Germany (5.4%) and Luxembourg (5.7%) recorded the lowest unemployment rates. Among the remaining major economies, Italy had the highest jobless rate (11.5%), followed by France (11.0%).
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect the unemployment rate to average 12.0% in 2013, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel expects the unemployment rate to average 11.8%.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions