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Stability returns on jobs front in Europe

By JONATHAN POWELL in London | China Daily | Updated: 2022-08-04 09:32
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This photo taken on May 25, 2022 at the Cafe du Port in Plouezoc'h, western France shows a hiring sign for a waiter job. [Photo/Agencies]

The European Union is recovering from a spike in job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic with unemployment levels declining, according to statistical office Eurostat.

Data released on Monday showed that June's unemployment rate in the EU was down to 6 percent from 7.2 percent a year ago, while levels declined to 6.6 percent from 7.9 percent in the eurozone, which is composed of EU countries that only use the euro as their national currency.

The figures show that the jobless rate in both the EU and the eurozone area remained stable in June compared to the previous month, despite weaker demand, higher prices and supply chain issues, reported Dow Jones Newswires.

The estimates use the International Labor Organization's standard definition of unemployment, which counts as unemployed people who have been actively seeking work in the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks.

The statistics office estimated that more than 12.9 million men and women in the EU, of whom more than 10.9 million are in the eurozone, were unemployed in June.

Compared with June last year, unemployment decreased by more than 2.3 million in the EU and more than 1.95 million in the eurozone.

The youth unemployment rate, among people under the age of 25, increased month-on-month by about 59,000 in the EU and 64,000 in the eurozone, Eurostat said.

This is an increase from 13.2 percent in May to 13.6 percent in June. The agency said some 2.5 million people under the age of 25 are unemployed in the EU.

Euronews noted that the unemployment rate in the EU for women is slightly higher than the rate for men. It said the highest rates are in Spain and Greece at 12.6 percent and 12.3 percent respectively, and that the Czech Republic has the lowest unemployment rate in the EU at 2.4 percent.

Analysts said the European economy is under pressure from the energy crisis that has been exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Rising inflation is impacting household incomes and has weakened consumer confidence.

In a bid to tackle inflation, the European Central Bank has raised interest rates for the first time since 2011 to tackle inflation, which hit 8.6 percent last month, with a base rate rise of 0.5 percentage point.

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