Eurozone unemployment falls but jobs market is still weak

The euro area unemployment rate fell to 12.1 per cent in October, down from September's 12.2 per cent. In the EU28, the unemployment rate was at 10.9 per cent. From a year earlier, both rates have risen. In October 2012, euro area unemployment was 11.7 per cent and 10.7 per cent in the EU28.

Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.8 per cent), Germany (5.2 per cent) and Luxembourg (5.9 per cent). The highest rates were seen in Greece (27.3 per cent in August 2013) and Spain (26.7 per cent). Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in half of the Member States but also fell in half.

When it came to youth unemployment, in October, 5.66m people under 25 were unemployed in the EU28. 3.58m of them were in the euro area.

In October 2013, the youth unemployment rate was 23.7 per cent in the EU28, and 24.4 per cent in the euro area, compared with 23.3 per cent and 23.7 per cent respectively in October 2012.

Germany saw the lowest youth unemployment (7.8 per cent), with Greece and Spain seeing the highest - 58 per cent and 57.4 per cent respectively.

Jonthan Loynes of Capital Economics comments:

The drop in the euro-zone unemployment rate is a modest pleasant surprise, but does not change the picture of a very weak labour market. Growth is nowhere near strong enough to make serious inroads into the jobless totals, particularly in the peripheral countries where unemployment is highest – note that the unemployment rate rose further in Spain. In short, unemployment is still high and deflation risks persist.