Eurozone unemployment hits record 12.1 per cent

31st May 2013

The number of jobless in the eurozone has hit a new peak in April bringing the total of unemployed to more than 19m according to data from Eurostat writes Philip Scott.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate complied by the Eurostat, the European Commission’s statistics office, jumped from 12.1% in March to 12.2% in April. Eurostat estimates 19.375m in the euro area were unemployed in April, a jump of 95,000 people from March. Compared with April 2012, unemployment was up by 1.6m across the 17 nations in the embattled euro region.

As a result of the growing numbers of unemployed, today some one in four, are jobless across Spain and Greece. Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria at 4.9%, Germany with 5.4% and Luxembourg at 5.6%.

In regards to those aged 25 and under, in April 3.6m people in the eurozone, now its longest ever recession since its inception in 1999, were unemployed, at level of some 24.4%.

In addition inflation figure came in below the European Central Bank’s target; consumer price inflation was considerably under the ECB’s 2% target in May however it did rise to from 1.2% to 1.4% in April.

James Howat, European economist, at Capital Economics says: “April’s rise in unemployment and the fact inflation remained well below target in May will add to the pressure on the ECB to provide more policy support. Admittedly inflation did rise from 1.2% to 1.4%, in line with the published consensus forecast. But the rise only partly reversed last month’s sharp fall, which probably mainly related to Easter falling earlier than usual, and inflation remains below the ECB’s 2% price stability ceiling.

“The situation in the periphery remains particularly dire, but note that the number of unemployed rose even in Germany. While all this suggests that the ECB needs to do more, we do not expect any significant announcements at the Bank’s meeting next week.”

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