Thursday 2 July 2020 10:23 am

Eurozone unemployment rate rises less than expected in May

The unemployment rate in the eurozone rose less than expected in May, indicating that government measures to protect jobs within the bloc have been successful.  

While the eurozone’s unemployment rate hit a four-month high of 7.4 per cent, new data from Eurostat showed, economists had expected the rate to rise to 7.7 per cent.

Read more: Eurozone manufacturing downturn eased in June as lockdowns loosened

The figure for May represents a slight rise on the reading for April, when eurozone unemployment hit 7.3 per cent. 

The slim increase in unemployment suggests furlough schemes across the eurozone providing temporary layoff are keeping many of those laid off during the pandemic out of the main unemployment records, although
a number of these schemes will start to taper.

The figures paint a grim picture for women and young people. Unemployment among those aged under 25 rose to 16 per cent in May
from 15.7 per cent in April.

For women across the eurozone, the jobless rate rose to 7.9 per cent from 7.7 per cent the previous month. For men, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at seven per cent.

Data released by individual eurozone countries showed the number of jobless claims rising in Italy and inching higher in France and Germany. 

The number of people registering as jobless in Spain rose 0.13 per cent in June. An additional 5,017 people filed jobless claims in June, data from the Spanish Labour Ministry showed, leaving a total of 3.86m people out of work. 

Read more: Eurozone inflation defies expectations with rise as economies re-open

Overall there were 847,197 more jobless people in June compared in the same month a year ago. 

A net 99,906 jobs were lost in June, even though Spain gradually lifted its coronavirus lockdown during the month.The pace of job losses in Spain slowed last month compared to May, when jobless claims rose 0.68 per cent.