Discussions in the European Union have recently revolved around an extremely important topic: The creation of jobs, especially for young people. But how bad is the situation really? Which countries are doing better, which are doing worse? Find out more in this feature.
In March 2014, the unemployment rate in the Euro Area was at 11,8 % – a slight decrease compared to one year before (12 percent in March 2013). Throughout the EU28, unemployment rate was 10.5% in March 2014. This means that that 25.699 million men and women in the EU28, of whom 18.913 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in March 2014.
Unemployment affects especially the youth: In March 2014, 5.340 million young people (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 3.426 million were in the euro area. Therefore, the youth unemployment rate was 22.8% in the EU28 and 23.7% in the euro area, compared with 23.5% and 24.0% in March 2013.
Did the eurozone crisis affect the labour market? Well, yes, of course. Check out the following infographic to get a picture of the massive impact that the eurozone crisis from 2008 onwards actually had on jobs.
Unemployment rates vary strongly within the European Union: Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.9%), Germany (5.1%) and Luxembourg (6.1%), and the highest in Greece (26.7% in January 2014) and Spain (25.3%). The highest increases from March 2013 to March 2014 were registered in Cyprus (14.8% to 17.4%), the Netherlands (6.4% to 7.2%), Italy (12.0% to 12.7%) and Croatia (16.6% to 17.3%), and the largest decreases in Hungary (11.2% to 7.9% between February 2013 and February 2014), Latvia (13.9% to 11.6% between the fourth quarters of 2012 and 2013), Portugal (17.4% to 15.2%) and Ireland (13.7% to 11.8%).
Let’s compare this to the world’s largest economy, the USA: In March 2014, the unemployment rate in the United States was 6.7%, down from 7.5% in March 2013. so, they are doing better than the average of the EU28 (which is 10,5 %).
Additionally, we should have a look at youth unemployment – since the situation is dramatic, especially in Southern European countries: The highest unemployment rates of people under the age 0f 25 are to be found in Greece (56.8% in January 2014), Spain (53.9%) and Croatia (49.0% in the first quarter of 2014). That means that every second young person in these countries is unemployed. In March 2014, the lowest rates of youth unemployment were observed in Germany (7.8%), Austria (9.5%) and the Netherlands (11.3%).
Too many numbers? Check out this infographic to get a better picture of your country’s situation, compared with the rest of Europe.
Not really. The European Union has created the basis for workforce mobility, making it much easier on a legal basis to settle down in another EU-Country and work there. However, Labor mobility is not as high as one would expect: According to the Report “Geographic Mobility in the European Union (2008)” by the European Commission, only 0,2 % of the EU-15-workforce are moving across borders – in comparison to 2,3 % of the US-workforce, who move interstate. Excluding Luxembourg, Labor mobility in the EU-15 is even much lower (0.1 %). However, this doen’t mean that Europeans are not mobile at all, since inter-regional mobility within countries is about 1 %.