Figures released by Eurostat show that in the Eurozone close to 20 million people are now unemployed, making up 12.2% of the workforce, an increase of 0.1% from last month’s 12.1%. If this trend continues, more than 20 million people will be unemployed at the end of the year as 95 000 people were added to the total.
As worrying as the overall figure may be, more worrying is it when the differences among the Eurozone countries are examined. While unemployment remains stable in Germany at around 5.4%, Southern European countries like Spain and Greece have unemployment rates on the wrong side of 25% and are still increasing.
Youth unemployment figures are approaching nightmarish proportions in Spain and Greece, where more than half of people in the 16 to 25 age bracket are unemployed. Though youth unemployment at 7.4% in Germany remains relatively high as well, the consequences are far more devastating in other countries such as Italy, where more than 40% are now unemployed.
These new figures also reveal that the Eurozone continues to be in recession and after six quarters of negative growth, the recession is longer than the one that followed the collapse of the financial markets in 2008.