Eurozone jobless total hits record high
Monday 02 July 2012
Unemployment in the 17 country eurozone hit another record in May as it continued to be buffeted by its debt crisis.
Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said that the jobless rate rose to 11.1% in May from 11% the previous month. That is the highest since the euro was launched in 1999.
Unemployment has been edging higher for over a year now as concerns over the debt crisis have weighed on economic activity. The highest unemployment rate was recorded in Spain, where nearly one in four people are out of work, closely followed by Greece.
In total, 17.6 million people were out of work in the eurozone in May, 1.8 million higher than the year before.
Unemployment has been edging higher for over a year as concerns over the debt crisis and the future of the euro currency have weighed on economic activity.
There are huge disparities across the eurozone. The labour markets of those countries at the front line of the debt crisis, such as Greece and Spain, are suffering in the wake of stringent austerity measures and recession. The highest unemployment rate across the eurozone was recorded in Spain, where 24.6% of people were out of work in May. Even more dramatically, 52.1% of the country's youth were unemployed.
Other countries in the eurozone are doing better. Germany's unemployment rate, for example, stood at only 5.6%. However, a series of recent surveys have pointed to tougher times ahead in Europe's biggest economy.
Across the wider 27-country European Union, which includes non-euro countries such as Britain and Poland, unemployment edged up to 10.3% in May from 10.2% the month before.
At a summit last Friday eurozone leaders agreed a set of short- and long-term measures to shore up the euro and unveiled a limited economic growth package. Markets have responded positively with a stock market rally which, if sustained, should help buoy economic confidence in the eurozone - a key step to easing the crisis.
May's unemployment rate compares badly with an unemployment rate of 8.2% in the United States and only 4.4% in Japan, and is expected to rise further in the coming months as the eurozone economy teeters on the edge of recession.
"With the eurozone likely having suffered appreciable GDP contraction in the second quarter and in grave danger of contracting again in the third, and with eurozone business confidence generally low and fragile, the likelihood is that the eurozone unemployment rate will move significantly higher over the coming months," said Howard Archer, chief European economist at IHS Global Insight.
Oscar Pistorius trial: Defence's own witness contradicts athlete's version of events
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
Almost 40m gallons of drinking water discarded – because a man urinated in it
Peaches Geldof funeral: Private ceremony to be held at same place as her mother Paula Yates on Easter Monday
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Are you turning into your dad? The top ten signs you've embraced dad-ism revealed as survey says 38 is age men turn into their father
- 2 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 3 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...