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Eurozone unemployment falls in July

October 1, 2013 at 4:09 pm | News Desk

BRUSSELS: Eurozone unemployment dropped for the first time in more than two years to 12 per cent in July against 12.1 per cent the previous month, and then remained stable in August, official data showed Tuesday.

The small drop was the first within the 17-nation zone since February 2011, the Eurostat statistics agency said. The total number of people out of work fell 16,000 to 19.17 million, but in the year since August 2012 was up by 895,000.

In the full 28-member European Union – including Croatia which joined in July – the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 10.9 per cent for the fourth consecutive month, with 26.59 million people jobless, down 38,000 from June.

There was some good news for youth unemployment, which fell over the year from August 2012 to August 2013 by 52,000 under-25s in the eurozone to 3.45 million, and by 123,000 youngsters in the 28-nation EU to 5.49 million.

Overall, however, youth unemployment, the 16-25 age bracket, continued very high at 23.7 per cent in the eurozone and 23.3 per cent in the EU, after 23.8 per cent and 23.4 per cent respectively in July. Greece was the again the worst affected, with a youth jobless rate of 61.5 per cent, while Spain was at 56.0 per cent in August.

Among those countries with the lowest unemployment levels, Austria had 4.9 per cent in August, followed by Germany, Europe’s powerhouse economy, on 5.2 per cent.

The highest rates were in twice-bailed out Greece at 27.9 per cent – according to the latest available figures for June – and Spain, on 26.2 per cent. AFP

News Desk

Economic Affairs Editor

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