Eurozone employment hits highest level since 2009 but financial sector job growth stalls

 
Chris Papadopoullos
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TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY VIRGINIE GROGNOU
The number of people in work in Spain has climbed three per cent over the last year (Source: Getty)

Employment in the Eurozone climbed at the end of last year as the currency-bloc's moderate economic recovery continued.

However, the Eurozone's financial sector failed to register a growth in job numbers.

There were 151.9m people in work in the Eurozone between October and December, according to figures published by EU statistical office Eurostat this morning. It is 0.3 per cent more people in work than between June and September and marks the highest level of employment since 2009.

Compared with the same period in 2014, there were 1.2 per cent more people in work. Spain led growth among the larger economies with 0.7 per cent growth between October and December. On the year Spanish employment was up three per cent.

German employment rose one per cent on the year while France only registered a climb of 0.5 per cent.

The top performing sector over the year was professional and support service activities – which includes lawyers, accountants and marketing firms – where the number of people in work increased 2.9 per cent. IT jobs were up 1.5 per cent.

The number of people in finance failed to growth while the number in construction declined 0.7 per cent. Jobs growth in industrial production was also sluggish at 0.4 per cent.

"It is relatively encouraging to see Eurozone employment rise by a reasonably solid 0.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2015, despite the slowdown in GDP growth in the second half of the year," said economist Howard Archer from analysts IHS.

"The reasonable rise in Eurozone employment in the fourth quarter of 2015, together with deflation/negligible inflation should be supportive to consumer spending, which will hopefully allow it to play a key role in helping Eurozone growth regain momentum after stuttering recently."

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