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Eurozone Unemployment Falls Again

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Eurozone Unemployment Falls Again

Eurozone unemployment is continuing to improve, the headline rate for the month of April has once again ticked lower. The average unemployment rate across the Eurozone’s 18 countries is now reading at 11.7% as compared to the 11.8% experienced in the month of March. Markets had not expected an improvement in the April reading. Overall the fall in unemployment implies that there were just over 76k less individuals reporting as unemployed across the Eurozone during the month of April, this however still leaves 18.751M unemployed across the 18 member states.

Earlier this morning Spain and Italy published some minor updates to their employment statistics. The Italian unemployment rate has remained stable at 12.6% in April while the Spanish data shows that 111.9k less individuals reported as unemployed during the month of May.

To highlight the disparity across the zone it is worth noting the lowest and highest unemployment rates. Austria and Germany are the best performers with rates of 4.9% and 5.2% respectively; they are closely followed by Luxembourg and The Czech Republic at 6.1% and 6.5%. At the other end of the scale are Greece and Spain who are respectively reporting unemployment rates of 26.5% and 25.1%.

Since 2000 the Eurozone unemployment level has averaged around the 9% to 9.5% level, the pre crises low of 6.75% was short lived, so too hopefully was the post crises high of 12%. Today’s improvement is representative of not just a one off improvement but of the beginning of a defined trend lower. Important to note is the correlation between the EU 28 and the Eurozone 18 unemployment levels, historically these statistics have trended in unison as would be expected from such a close group of countries. The silver lining is perhaps that the EU 28 unemployment level, currently 10.4%, is falling at an accelerating pace this has the potential to cause an increase in the rate at which the Eurozone 18 unemployment rate falls.

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