Unemployment in the Eurozone continued to decline in August. According to figures released by, Eurostat, the European statistics office on Monday, the unemployment rate in the 19 countries that use the euro fell by 0.1 percentage points to 7.4 percent. This is the lowest level since May 2008 and marginally beat analysts’ forecasts who predicted the figures to be in line with last month’s numbers.
Throughout the European Union, the rate of unemployment fell from 6.3 to 6.2 percent. This is the lowest value ever measured since the beginning of the monthly survey in 2000.
The Czech Republic (2.0 percent), Germany (3.1 percent) and Malta (3.3 percent) were the EU Member States with the lowest unemployment rate in August. At the other end of the spectrum, Greece had the highest rate (17 percent in June, the latest available figure), followed by Spain (13.8 percent) and Italy (9.5 percent). Unemployment in France stands at 8.5 percent. Unemployment thus falls below the average prior to the global financial crisis of 2008 (7.5 percent), after reaching 12.1 percent at the peak of the debt crisis in mid-2013.
According to Eurostat, there were still 15.43 million men and women without jobs in the EU out of 28 states in August, compared to 12.17 million in the 19 states of the Eurozone. In both cases, the number of unemployed fell by more than 110,000 compared to July. Youth unemployment also declined in August, to 15.4 percent in the euro area and to 14.2 percent in the EU as a whole, compared with 16.8 percent and 15.1 percent a year earlier.
The European Commission itself believes that the improvement in employment in the European Union could be halted in the second half due to the slowdown in growth and the weakness of the manufacturing sector, according to the quarterly employment report published in September.