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03/04/2013 09:15pm

Unemployment up to 55 per cent in trouble-hit countries of Europe

image Unemployment up to 55 per cent in trouble-hit countries of Europe
New Delhi, Apr 3 (KNN)  Contrary to expectations of revival in the global economy, the rate of unemployment in the European Union has risen alarmingly to as high as 58 per cent in some countries making it difficult for the EU and multilateral agencies to enforce austerity measures in the trouble-torn continent.

As per figures published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, 5.694 million youth under the age of 25 were unemployed among the 27 member states of the European Union (EU27), compared to 196,000 in the corresponding period last year. 

The hardest hit country was Greece with 58.4 per cent unemployment in December 2012, followed by Spain (55.7 per cent), Portugal (38.2 per cent) and Italy (37.8 per cent).

However, the lowest unemployment rates were observed in Germany (7.7 per cent), Austria (8.9 per cent) and the Netherlands (10.4 per cent).

Cyprus in the early hours of March-25, struck a last-minute bailout deal, aimed at preventing the island becoming the first country forced out of the single European currency.  The essential points of the deal included sparing deposits below Euro 100,000; closure of Laiki Bank, and restructuring of Bank of Cyprus which would hit hard its shareholders and bondholders. 

Official figures for unemployment in February 2013 in the Euro area with 17 member states (EA17) stood at 12 per cent while for the European Union with 27 member states (EU27) it was 10.9 per cent.

The EU27 includes Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), the Czech Republic (CZ), Denmark (DK), Germany (DE), Estonia (EE), Ireland (IE), Greece (EL), Spain (ES), France (FR), Italy (IT), Cyprus (CY), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (LU), Hungary (HU), Malta (MT), the Netherlands (NL), Austria (AT), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Romania (RO), Slovenia (SI), Slovakia (SK), Finland (FI), Sweden (SE) and the United Kingdom (UK). 

The euro area (EA17) consists of Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

Based on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) definition, Eurostat defines unemployed persons as persons aged 15 to 74 who are without work; are available to start work within the next two weeks; and have actively sought employment at some time during the previous four weeks.  (KNN)

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