Over 25 mn people out of job in European Union
Big News Network.com | October, 2012
BRUSSELS - Across the 27-nation European Union an estimated 25.5 million people are out of job, while in the 17-nation euro zone unemployment has reached 18.2 million, the highest since the inception of the euro in 1999, the latest monthly data by EU's statistics office Eurostat states.
The unemployment data is the direct offshoot of the slide in Europe's factory sector, which has just suffered its worst quarter since 2009 financial crisis, according to Markit's manufacturing PMIs released Monday.
The data shows that core of the eurozone is in trouble with manufacturing PMI at 46.1 in September. That's the 11th sub-50 reading in a row, which means the sector has been shrinking for nearly a year.
"It is clearly unacceptable that 25 million Europeans are out of work," European Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said at a media briefing.
Eurostat data showed that a record 22.7 per cent or 5.458 million young persons between 18-to-25-year-olds seeking job were without employment in August of whom 3.392 million were in the euro area.
Unemployment in euro zone was lower at 22.8 per cent.
Compared with August 2011, youth unemployment rose by 164 000 in the EU and by 213 000 in the euro area.
In August 2012 the lowest rates were observed in Germany(8.1 per cent), the Netherlands (9.4 per cent) and Austria (9.7 per cent), and the highest in Greece (55.4 per cent in June 2012) and Spain (52.9 per cent).
"EU institutions and governments, businesses and social partners at all levels need to do all they can to avoid a lost generation, which would be an economic and social disaster," the Commission said.
Joblessness in the 17 country bloc was 11.4 per cent of the working population in August, stable compared to July on a statistical basis, but with another 34,000 people finding themselves out of work in the month, Eurostat said it was 16th straight monthly rise.
Unemployment rate in the EU at 10.5 per cent in August was, also stable compared with July.
In both zones, rates have risen compared with August 2011, when they were 10.2 per cent and 9.7 per cent respectively.
Eurostat estimates that 25.466 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 18.196 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in August 2012. Compared with July 2012, the number of persons unemployed increased by
49 000 in the EU, and by 34 000 in the euro area.
Compared with August 2011, unemployment rose by 2.170 million in the EU and by 2.144 million in the euro area.
The debt crisis that began in Greece in 2010 and has spread across the euro zone to engulf Ireland, Portugal, Cyprus and the much bigger economy of Spain, has devastated business confidence and sapped companies' abilities to create jobs.
Chris Williamson, chief economist at data collator Markit, warned that manufacturing's weakness has helped drag Europe into recession.
Williamson said, "The sector will act as a severe drag on economic growth. It therefore seems inevitable that the region will have fallen back into a new recession in the third quarter."
Among the member states, the highest unemployment was in Spain (25.1 per cent) and Greece (24.4 per cent in June 2012), while the lowest jobless rates were recorded in Austria (4.5 per cent), Luxembourg (5.2 per cent), the Netherlands (5.3 per cent) and Germany(5.5 per cent).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in 20 member states, fell in six and remained stable in the United Kingdom.
The largest falls were observed in Estonia (13.2 per cent to 10.1 per cent between the second quarters of 2011 and 2012), Lithuania (15.0 per cent to 12.9 per cent) and Latvia (17.0 per cent to 15.9 per cent between the second quarters of 2011 and 2012).
The highest increases were registered in Greece (17.2 per cent to 24.4 per cent between June 2011 and June 2012), Cyprus (8.0 per cent to 11.7 per cent), Portugal (12.7 per cent to 15.9 per cent) and Spain (22.0 per cent to 25.1 per cent).
Between August 2011 and August 2012, the unemployment rate for males increased from 9.9 per cent to 11.3 per cent in the euro area and from 9.6 per cent to 10.5 per cent in the EU. The female unemployment rate rose from 10.5 per cent to 11.6 per cent in the euro area and from 9.8 per cent to 10.6 per cent in the EU.
In August 2012, the unemployment rate was 8.1 per cent in the USA and 4.1 per cent in Japan.
A European-wide drive to cut debts and deficits to try to win back that lost confidence has led governments to cut back spending and lay off staff, while stubbornly high inflation and limited bank credit are adding to household's problems.
Joblessness could go beyond 19 million by early 2014, or about 12 per cent of the euro zone's workforce, according to a new study by consultancy Ernst Young, projecting that joblessness could rise to 27 per cent in indebted Greece. That compares with 24.4 per cent in the country in June, the latest data available.