Unemployment in the eurozone remains at a minimum but Spain continues to have the highest unemployment rate

Unemployment in the eurozone remains at a minimum but Spain continues to have the highest unemployment rate

Despite the economic stagnation that the euro countries are going through, unemployment remains at historic lows. The rate of Unemployment of the Twenty stood at 6.5% in February, remaining at the lowest thresholds since the European statistics office, Eurostat, began collecting data in 1998. Although Spain continues to be the country with the highest rate, at 11.5%.

The euro club figure is in line with the previous three months, at just over 11.1 million unemployed people, one tenth below the rate recorded a year ago. If compared to 2019 (year before the pandemic) Unemployment in the eurozone is a lower point, since in February 2020 unemployment in euro countries was 7.4%.

In the case of all EU countries, unemployment levels are falling at 6%, also aligned with the data of the last three months and with the figures from a year ago. In absolute terms, the Twenty-seven have registered an increase of 156,000 people, from 13.1 unemployed a year ago to almost 13.2 in February of this year.

In any case, Spain continues to lead among the euro economies with a higher unemployment rate, also in youth unemployment. Levels of 11.5% and 2.7 million people who were unemployed in February keep Spain as the country with the worst employment data in the community club.

Such thresholds They barely exceed the 11% of Greece and are higher than the 8.1% of registered unemployment in Sweden. On the other side of the scale, the Czech Republic and Poland top the list of countries with the lowest levels of unemployment, with 2.6% and 2.9%, respectively. In third place is Slovenia, with a rate of 3.1%.

The difficulties that the German economy is going through are being felt in its labor market. The unemployment rate stood at 3.2%, although this is one of the lowest figures in the EU, an increase from 2.9% a year ago. France, for its part, has registered a decrease of two tenths in the last two months, up to 7.4% but a slight increase from 7.1% unemployment a year ago. In the case of Italy, the rate stands at 7.5%, two tenths more than in December, but below the 7.8% of a year ago.

The Russian military invasion of Ukraine, high levels of energy prices and subsequent inflation have led to a slowdown in the eurozone economy. So much so that, in its latest winter economic forecasts, the European Commission lowered its growth forecasts for the countries of the single currency this year to 0.8%. However, if there is a message that Brussels insists on, it is the resilience of the labor market, one of the pillars that contributed to the robustness of the economy in 2023 and will continue to do so in 2024.

Youth and women unemployment

Regarding youth unemployment in euro countries, the rate remained at 14.6% in February, in line with the February figure, although slightly below the 14.8% reported by the bloc as a whole. community in the second month of the year. There are 2.9 million unemployed people under 25 years of age in the EUof which 2.3 are in the euro zone.

In the case of Spain, the number of unemployed young people amounts to 500,000, a figure that translates into 28.2% of youth unemployment, the highest in the EU and the eurozone. The rate is above the 25% that Greece has registered in the second month of the year or 23.2% and 23.1% in Sweden and Portugal, respectively.

In terms of female unemployment, Spain escapes by the skin of its teeth. In February, the unemployment rate for women was 13% in the EU, only surpassed by the Hellenic country’s 14.2%. Meanwhile, that of men remained at 10%. In the euro area, the female unemployment rate was 6.9% in line with the December figure and stood at 6.1%, one tenth less than at the end of the year.


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