Rate of unemployment in eurozone at 9.5% in February – lowest since May 2009
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    Rate of unemployment in eurozone at 9.5% in February – lowest since May 2009

    The rate of unemployment in the eurozone was at 9.5% in February, a figure slightly lower than that recorded in January 2017 (9.6%). Today (Monday), the European office for statistics, Eurostat, indicated that this is the lowest rate recorded in the eurozone since May 2009. Within the currently EU28, the rate of unemployment was 8% in February, which was also slightly lower than January’s 8.1%. As mentioned above, this is the lowest rate recorded since January 2009.

    Eurostat says that 19.75 million men and women were unemployed in the EU28 in February, of which 15.439 million were in the eurozone. Compared to last January, the number unemployed has reduced by 153,000 within the EU28 and 140,000 in the eurozone. Compared to February 2016, unemployment has decreased by 1.852 million people in the European Union and 1.245 million within the eurozone.

    The lowest unemployment rates were seen in the Czech Republic (3.4%), Germany (3.9%) as well as Malta (4.1%). The highest rates were found in Greece (23.1% in December) and in Spain (18%). In Belgium, the rate of unemployment was 7%.

    Over a one-year horizon, the rate of unemployment in February 2017 proved to have decreased within 26 member states, whilst it increased in Denmark (from 6% to 6.4%) and in Lituania (from 8% to 8.3%). The most marked decreases were seen in Croatia (from 14.4% to 11.6%), Spain (from 20.5% to 18%), Portugal (from 12.2% to 10%) and Ireland (from 8.4% to 6.6%).

    In February, 3.905 million youngsters under 25 were unemployed within the EU28, of which 2.722 million were in the eurozone. Compared to February 2016, the number of unemployed youngsters reduced by 475,000 within the EU28 and 309,000 within the eurozone.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times