Eurozone jobs fall as growth remains slow

Tim Wallace
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JOBS fell again in the Eurozone at the end of 2011, official figures showed yesterday, as the European Central Bank (ECB) warned the region’s economy will only recover very slowly.

Employment declined 0.2 per cent in the final quarter of 2011 in the Eurozone and 0.1 per cent in the full EU, compared to the previous quarter.

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2010, Eurozone employment fell 0.2 per cent while there was no change in the level of overall EU jobs.

Greece led the fall, with an 8.5 per cent decline in employment in the year, with a 3.1 per cent fall in Portugal and 2.3 per cent in Bulgaria.

However, the decline was not uniform across the region with jobs growth of 4.8 per cent in Estonia and 3.9 per cent in Lithuania.

While there are “signs of a stabilisation in economic activity,” this is “still at a low level,” the ECB reports.

Even this slowdown in the economic decline may give way to further recession as ongoing sovereign debt worries and continued private sector deleveraging “are expected to dampen underlying growth momentum.”

Even the €1 trillion pumped into Europe’s banks may not reach households and firms for several months, the ECB said.