Eurozone unemployment rate falls to lowest since January 2009

The jobless rate across the 19 country bloc was 8.7 per cent in November 2017

Ben Chu
Economics Editor
Tuesday 09 January 2018 12:30
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Unemployment in Italy fell to 11 per cent in November
Unemployment in Italy fell to 11 per cent in November

The eurozone unemployment rate has fallen to a new eight-year low, confirming the single currency area’s cyclical recovery after years of stagnation and rolling financial and political crises.

Eurostat reported on Tuesday that the jobless rate across the 19 country bloc was 8.7 per cent in November 2017, down from 8.8 per cent in October and the lowest since January 2009.

The eurozone jobless rate has been steadily declining since it hit a peak of 12.1 per cent in 2013, in the midst of fears that the currency bloc could be on the verge of a disastrous break up.

In Germany, the bloc’s largest economy, the jobless rate declined to 3.6 per cent, down from 3.7 per cent previously.

In France the rate fell to 9.2 per cent from 9.3 per cent in October.

There was a decline in Italy from 11.1 per cent to 11 per cent, the lowest since 2012.

The Spanish rate was unchanged on 16.7 per cent.

The Greek unemployment rate, according to the most recent figures from that country, was still 20.5 per cent in September 2017. However, even that was down from 23.2 per cent in November 2016.

The Office for National Statistics put the UK’s jobless rate at 4.2 per cent in September, the lowest since 1975.

But the eurozone’s GDP growth is outpacing the UK’s, as the latter grapples with the impact of the Brexit vote in the form of weaker household spending and business investment.

In the third quarter of 2017 the single currency area is estimated to have grown by 0.6 per cent, versus 0.4 per cent for the UK.

And economists are expecting 2017 to have been the bloc’s best year for growth in a decade.

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