Europe Unemployment Rate Rises

Europe’s unemployment rate rose to the highest in more than 10 years in July as companies cut jobs to weather the worst recession in six decades.

The euro area (EA16) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 9.5% in July 2009, compared with 9.4% in June. It was 7.5% in July 2008. The EU27 unemployment rate was 9.0% in July 2009, compared with 8.9% in June. It was 7.0% in July 2008. For the euro area this is the highest rate since May 1999 and for the EU27 since May 2005.

Eurostat estimates that 21.794 million men and women in the EU27, of which 15.090 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in July 2009. Compared with June, the number of persons unemployed increased by 225 000 in the EU27 and by 167 000 in the euro area. Compared with July 2008, unemployment went up by 5.111 million in the EU27 and by 3.264 million in the euro area.

Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Netherlands (3.4%), Austria (4.4%) and Cyprus (5.5%), and the highest rates in Spain (18.5%), Latvia (17.4%) and Lithuania (16.7%).

Compared with a year ago, all Member States recorded an increase in their unemployment rate. The smallest increases were observed in Romania (5.7% to 6.2% between the first quarters of 2008 and 2009) and Germany (7.2% to 7.7%). The highest increases were registered in Lithuania (5.8% to 16.7%), Latvia (6.9% to 17.4%) and Estonia (4.1% to 13.3% between the second quarters of 2008 and 2009).

In July 2009, the youth unemployment rate (under-25s) was 19.7% in the euro area and 19.8% in the EU27. In July 2008 it was 15.4% in both areas. The lowest rate was observed in the Netherlands (6.6%), and the highest rates in Spain (38.4%) and Lithuania (30.9% in the second quarter of 2009).

Europe Unemployment Rate Rises, Bloomberg, Eurostat
9/1/2009 9:44:25 AM