Euro area unemployment at record high

Some 19.2 million people were jobless in March, up 62,000 from the previous month

The euro-area jobless rate rose to a record in March, increasing pressure on the European Central Bank to take additional measures to boost growth. 
 Photo: Bloomberg.

The euro-area jobless rate rose to a record in March, increasing pressure on the European Central Bank to take additional measures to boost growth. Photo: Bloomberg.

Tue, Apr 30, 2013, 10:36

The euro-area jobless rate rose to a record in March, increasing pressure on the European Central Bank to take additional measures to boost growth.

The euro-area unemployment rate advanced to 12.1 per cent from 12 per cent in the previous two months, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today.

Soaring unemployment “cannot be ignored, because this is the biggest fragmentation that is happening in Europe,” ECB vice president Vitor Constancio said on April 25. “It’s even worse in what regards youth unemployment.”

Today’s report showed that 19.2 million people were jobless in the euro area in March, up 62,000 from the previous month. Youth unemployment was at 24 per cent.

The jobless rate in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, held at 5.4 per cent.

On April 19, ECB governing council member Jens Weidmann said the bank would only cut interest rates if economic data worsen. President Mario Draghi said the same day that the economic situation in the 17-nation euro area hadn’t improved since the ECB’s last meeting on April 4.

The European Commission sees the economy shrinking 0.3 per cent this year.

Eurostat will release a preliminary report on first- quarter gross domestic product on May 15.

Europe’s second-largest carmaker, PSA Peugeot Citroen, plans to eliminate 11,200 jobs in France, or 17 per cent of its domestic workforce, as an intensifying car-market contraction in Europe caused first-quarter revenue to drop 6.5 per cent.

In Spain, the jobless number is the highest since at least 1976, the year after dictator Francisco Franco’s death heralded Spain’s transition to democracy.

Bloomberg