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Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Oliver Berg

Unemployment steady in Europe

August 31, 2016

The jobless rate in the euro area has remained stuck in double-digit territory this summer, while the number of people out of work in its biggest economy edged up slightly but continues to stand at an historic low.


German unemployment held at a record low of 6.1 percent in August after the Federal Labor Agency (BA) had reported a bigger-than-forecast fall in jobless queues last month.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the number of people out of work in Europe's biggest economy fell by 7,000 to 2.675 million in August, meaning Germany's unemployment rate remains at its lowest level since German reunification in October 1990.

"The labor market as a whole has developed positively," BA chief Frank-Jürgen Weise said in a statement. "Labor market demand ... remains high."

In nominal figures, however, 23,000 more people were out of work in the month, causing the unadjusted figure to rise to 2.684 million. The agency said the rise reflected the regular summer uptick as school leavers flood into the jobs market.

Inequality in the EU - an analysis

Eurozone unchanged

In the 19-nation single currency area, unemployment remained stuck in July at 10.1 percent - its lowest level in five years, new data showed.

A total of 16.3 million people were out of work in the eurozone in July - just under 3 million of them were under the age of 25, leading to a youth unemployment rate of 21.1 per cent.

Compared with June, the number of people out of work decreased by 43,000, but the drop was not enough to alter the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, the EU statistics agency Eurostat said.

Malta, the Czech Republic and Germany continued to record the lowest jobless rates, with overall unemployment at around 4 percent. Malta and Germany also posted the lowest youth unemployment at just over 7 percent.

Greece and Spain, meanwhile, had the highest figures, with overall unemployment around 20 percent and youth unemployment at almost 44 percent in Spain and 50 percent in Greece in May - the most recent figures available for that country.

Although the eurozone has made some progress in the fight against rampant unemployment since it hit a record 12.1 percent in 2013, joblessness on the continent is still considered to be unacceptably high.

In the wider, 28-country European Union, unemployment remained unchanged at 8.6 per cent, its lowest rate in more than seven years.

uhe/cjc (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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