Eurozone Unemployment Shows Positive Signs
In stark contrast two of the Eurozones largest countries have just released their unemployment figures for the month of April. Germany has reported no change to it’s rate of 6.7% while Italy has announced a current unemployment figure of 12.7%, almost double that of Germany, a revision to Italy’s March figure means that a slight improvement from 13% has been seen here.
Overall unemployment in the 18 nation Eurozone is gradually improving, the latest measure puts this at 11.7%, this figure falls to 10.6% when the statistic is expanded to account for the full 28 nation European Union.
The Eurozone currently has just short of 19 Million unemployed people and, as evidenced this morning, rates across the individual member states vary greatly. Spain and Greece are struggling with unemployment rates in the mid twenties while countries like Austria and Luxembourg are experiencing near full employment conditions.
This situation is just one of the headaches that the policy makers are dealing with currently. In the absence of harmonized fiscal policy within the Eurozone there are difficulties in dealing with the economic disparities being thrown up by the collection of individual member states. It is the monetary policy makers however that have the most difficult task, the European Central Bank (ECB) sets just one blanket policy for the entirety of the single currency bloc. Even batching the individual states into two or three groups according to their stage in the recovery process does not solve the problem of their being only one instrument available to manage the monetary affairs of the Union.
The politics of this situation mean that no matter what action the ECB takes it is likely to be unsuitable for at least one group of Eurozone member countries. This is what is lying behind the ECB’s apparent inaction in addressing the zones deflationary prices situation.
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