Youth unemployment rate in euro zone close to 25%
In Spain and Greece youth unemployment as high as one in two
A senior student of the Castelo Branco City University of Technologies in Portugal looks up job announcements on a board after a presentation about job and traineeship opportunities June 12th, 2013. Photograph: Jose Manuel Ribeiro/Reuters
The unemployment rate across the euro zone hit a fresh record in May, as the recession continued to affect workers around the region and young people again suffered most.
The euro zone jobless rate rose to 12.1 per cent in May, up from 12.0 per cent in April, according to Eurostat. The youth unemployment rate was almost double that, at 23.8 per cent, as 3.5 million under-25s were unemployed in May. In Spain and Greece youth unemployment was as high as one in two.
The rise in unemployment was driven by increased joblessness in countries at the heart of the crisis, including Ireland, Spain and Italy. As the euro zone languishes in its longest-ever recession, the jobless total across the bloc rose by 67,000 in May to 19.2 million.
Seventeen members of the euro zone have higher unemployment rates than a year ago, while 10 have lower rates.
Forecasts were higher
Economists had forecast an even higher rate of 12.3 per cent for May in a Reuters poll. They warned the jobless crisis could get worse before it gets better. “An end to the euro zone labour market downturn is not yet imminent. Indeed, the employment expectations indices from the European commission’s business survey are still at levels consistent with further increases in unemployment. However, with the recession across the euro zone petering out, the peak in unemployment should not be too far away either,” said Martin van Vliet at ING Financial Markets.
Limited cause for optimism
There was very limited cause for optimism in Eurostat’s slight downward revisions to its earlier data – it had previously estimated the euro zone jobless rate at 12.2 per cent.
Once again, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.7 per cent), Germany (5.3 per cent) and Luxembourg (5.7 per cent), and the highest in Spain (26.9 per cent) and Greece (26.8 per cent in March 2013, the most recently available data).
Cyprus, which was dragged into a bailout crisis this year, suffered the biggest annual rise – from 11.4 per cent in May 2012 to 16.3 per cent this May. And Slovenia, which is fighting to avoid a bailout, has seen its jobless rate increase from 8.6 per cent a year ago to 11.2 per cent.– (Guardian service)