Eurozone jobless rate steady at record 12.1% last month: Eurostat
By Bryan McManus ,AFPBRUSSELS -- Eurozone unemployment was unchanged at an “unacceptable” record 12.1 percent in July but another slight fall in the total jobless after an improvement in June offered some hope, official data showed on Friday.
August 31, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
The number of people without work in the 17-nation eurozone fell 15,000 to 19.23 million, after a drop of 35,000 in June, the Eurostat statistics agency said.
In the full 28-member European Union — including Croatia which joined in July — the unemployment rate was unchanged at 11 percent, with 26.65 million jobless, down 33,000 from June when the total shed 43,000.
EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor said the fall in the numbers was encouraging but “clearly it is unacceptable” that so many should still be without work.
“The recent improvements are minimal and the situation is still very fragile. This is no time for celebration or complacency,” Andor said.
“On the contrary, now that we can see we are on the right employment policy track, we must step up our 'jobs effort:'”
Highlighting the challenge ahead and the damage done by the economic slump and debt crisis, the figures also showed that the jobless total in both the eurozone and EU had increased by around one million compared with July 2012.
Analysts had been hoping the report would begin to reflect a gradual recovery which saw the eurozone post 0.3-percent growth in the second quarter to finally snap a deep 18-month recession which has destroyed millions of jobs.
Other data on Friday — a sharp fall in August inflation to 1.3 percent and a jump in the European Commission's business confidence index — suggested that the improvement was continuing.
However, “July's unemployment figures confirm that this is not yet boosting the labour market,” said Jennifer McKeown at Capital Economics.
“With the unemployment rate still at a record high of 12.1 percent, the labour market is not yet staging a meaningful recovery,” McKeown said, adding that it was likely that “job cuts will continue for the time being.”