The European Union’s unemployment rate remained stable at 6.3 percent in in July and at 7.5 percent in the Eurozone, the lowest recorded rates since 2000 and 2008, respectively, according to figures released on Friday by the EU’s statistics office Eurostat.
The figures confirm the steady trend of falling unemployment levels in Europe since hitting their peak during the economic crisis, despite the slowdown in economic growth since the end of 2018.
The biggest declines in unemployment since May, the last date available, were observed in Greece (from 19.4% to 17.2%, Croatia (from 8.4% to 7.1%), Cyprus (from 8.3% to 7%), Slovakia (from 6.5% to 5.3%) and Spain (from 15% to 13.9%).
The highest rates were observed again in Greece and Spain, while the lowest were in the Czech Republic (2.1%) and Germany (3%).
Unemployment among young people under 25, meanwhile, increased by one tenth in both the EU (14.3%) and the eurozone (15.6%) in July compared to June, which remains at levels higher than double the average among the general population.
If compared with July of the same year, however, youth unemployment fell seven tenths in the EU, from the previous rate of 15 percent, and four tenths of a percent in the euro area, from 16.7 percent a year earlier.
The strength of the labour market and the increase in wages have not translated, however, into an upward pressure on consumer prices, according to inflation figures also released on Friday by Eurostat.
Eurozone inflation is running at 1 percent, unchanged from July. Core inflation, which excludes the price of energy, fresh food, alcohol and tobacco due to their volatility, remained at 0.9 percent, well below the European Central Bank’s target of close to 2 percent.
The stagnation of the consumer price index (CPI) in August has fueled speculation that the ECB will be forced to adopt new measures in September to stimulate a European economy, burdened primarily by trade tensions and uncertainty of the Brexit.