UK employment rises by second fastest rate in the EU (after Hungary)

 
Billy Ehrenberg
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The United Kingdom enjoyed the EU's second largest rise in employment in the 12 months to July (Source: Getty)

The United Kingdom enjoyed the EU's second largest rise in employment in the 12 months to July, with the annualised rate up 2.7 per cent (seasonally adjusted).

Only Hungary - at 3.1 per cent year on year - saw a faster rise.

Eurostat released figures for employment rates across the European Union today, showing second quarter 2014 figures up slightly on the first quarter- though this was hardly an inspiring amount.

Employment rose by 0.2 per cent in the Euro area and 0.3 per cent in across the 28 EU nations over the quarter, while annualised rates were similarly subdued.

When compared to the same quarter last year, the changes were 0.4 per cent across the Eurozone and 0.7 per cent across the EU.

This interactive map categorises countries by their latest unemployment rate, either for July 2014 or the most recent data.

Click on any country to see a graph of the last four quarters' annualised employment rate change. For countries with an *, the second quarter data was unavailable due to an upcoming change in the way the EU analyses the data.

To scroll past the map on mobile, swipe down on the right-hand side of the screen.

The list of the top five countries held no surprises: Portugal and Ireland made the list because both are suffering from high unemployment (13.5 per cent and 12 per cent respectively), meaning bigger jumps are not unexpected.

The UK's employment rate has been rising for some time, although real wages are yet to catch up to pre-crisis levels.

There weren't many surprises among the biggest fallers either. Cyprus makes the list as it is still feeling the effects of last year's bailout with firms scaling down operations, while the Greek economy is still in a dark place.

Among the so-called Pigs, Portugal saw the biggest rises, while Spain, which has undergone painful structural reforms, also saw one per cent annualised growth.

Meanwhile, among the EU's biggest five economies, the UK was the clear leader.

France, struggling with a chronic lack of competitiveness, has seen its unemployment rate rise and GDP stagnate and recently had to admit it will again miss budget deficit targets until 2017.

Germany has seen several disappointing stats recently, including those for manufacturing. Italy, in the grips of a technical recession, saw employment drop for three quarters and has no available data for Q2 2014.

Overall Eurostat estimates:

In the second quarter of 2014, 224.9m men and women were employed in the EU28,of which 146.5m were in the euro area. These figures are seasonally adjusted.
These quarterly data on employment provide a picture of labour input consistent with the output and income measure of national accounts.

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