Eurozone: Unemployment rate stable in December
January 31, 2014
According to data released by Eurostat on 31 January, the number of unemployed fell by 129,000 people in December. The decline exceeded the drop recorded in November (minus 16,000). December's unemployment rate of 12.0% was in line with November's print and came in below market expectations of 12.1%.
A country-based analysis confirms that the divergence in labor market developments persists between the core European nations and the peripheral economies. Greece (27.8%, October data), Spain (25.8%) and Cyprus (17.5%) were the Euro area members with the highest unemployment rates. At the other end of the spectrum, Austria (4.9%), Germany (5.1%) and Luxembourg (6.2%) recorded the lowest unemployment rates. Among the remaining major economies, Italy had the highest jobless rate at 12.7%, followed by France (10.8%).
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect the unemployment rate to average 12.1% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2015, the panel expects the unemployment rate to average 11.7%.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions