Euro zone unemployment drops to fresh post-crisis low

Rate of joblessness edges down to 8.1%, its lowest level since November 2008

Unemployment is the lowest in Germany, hitting 3.4 per cent, according to the data from Eurostat. Photograph: Daragh Mac Sweeney/Provision

Unemployment is the lowest in Germany, hitting 3.4 per cent, according to the data from Eurostat. Photograph: Daragh Mac Sweeney/Provision

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Unemployment in the euro zone has hit another post-crisis low, boosting policy makers’ hopes that the strength of the labour market will combat the slowdown in global trade.

The rate of joblessness edged down to 8.1 per cent in August, from 8.2 per cent in July, hitting its lowest level since November 2008.

Unemployment surged during the region’s crisis years to above 12 per cent, but has fallen much more quickly than most economists expected now that growth has resumed. The euro zone has also seen little of the decline in the share of population joining the labour market, unlike in the US, where many would-be workers have dropped out and are no longer included in official unemployment statistics.

Policy makers at the European Central Bank are confident that more jobs mean more spending by households, offsetting fewer exports sales on the back of economic protectionism.

Unemployment is the lowest in Germany, hitting 3.4 per cent, according to the data from Eurostat, the European Commission’s statistics bureau. It remains highest in Greece at 19.1 per cent, although Greece, Cyprus and Portugal have all witnessed sharp falls in unemployment over the past year.

– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018

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