Young jobless rate in Greece and Spain rises

WESTERN Macedonia, an area in the north of Greece, is experiencing a crippling 72.5 per cent youth unemployment rate according to official European statistics released yesterday, with some Spanish regions not far behind.

Over half of young Spaniards and Greeks are currently unemployed. Both economies are in deep and prolonged recession.

Ceuta, an autonomous Spanish enclave, reported that 70.6 per cent of 18-24 year olds were unemployed, and seven other Greek and Spanish registered over 60 per cent.

The average rate of youth unemployment in the EU is 22.9 per cent, but the strongest and weakest economies in Europe display enormous differences.

Healthier European levels were found in the centre of the EU, while the worst were in the Mediterranean periphery. Austria and Germany perform particularly well, with twelve regions between them where youth unemployment is below six per cent.

Overseas territories also seemed to suffer disproportionately from the effects of unemployment. The data suggested that the French provinces of Martinique, Guiana and Guadeloupe suffered from the worst long-term unemployment, with rates of over 70 per cent.