Eurostat reported that unemployment in 17-nation euro area continues to hover at 12%. It is worth remembering that, at the depths of the recession, U.S. joblessness barely topped 10% during the worst months. Europe shows no sign of a recovery, based on the Eurostat numbers and others from Markit, which measures PMI.
Eurostat put unemployment in Greece and Spain at more than 26%, a figure that continues to approach that of some months during the Great Depression. Indications are that, among the young, the jobless rate is closer to 50% in the nations most badly damaged economically. Europe already has a lost generation as these people move into adulthood with no means of support and, therefore, no purchasing power or way to save.
Eurostat estimates that 26.338 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 19.071 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in February 2013. Compared with January 2013, the number of persons unemployed increased by 76 000 in the EU27 and by 33 000 in the euro area. Compared with February 2012, unemployment rose by 1.805 million in the EU27 and by 1.775 million in the euro area.
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.8%), Germany (5.4%), Luxembourg (5.5%) and the Netherlands (6.2%), and the highest in Greece (26.4% in December 2012), Spain (26.3%) and Portugal (17.5%).
In February 2013, 5.694 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU27, of whom 3.581 million were in the euro area. Compared with February 2012, youth unemployment rose by 196 000 in the EU27 and by 188 000 in the euro area. In February 2013, the youth unemployment rate was 23.5% in the EU27 and 23.9% in the euro area, compared with 22.5% and 22.3% respectively in February 2012. In February 2013, the lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.7%), Austria (8.9%) and the Netherlands (10.4%), and the highest in Greece (58.4% in December 2012), Spain (55.7%), Portugal (38.2%) and Italy (37.8%).