31 May 2013

Youth unemployment at record levels across Europe

Youth unemployment rises to 23.5 per cent in the European Union (EU), according to official figures released today.

Unemployed Greeks queue at a job centre in Athens

Unemployment among the under 25s rose in April to 23.5 per cent within the EU and 24.4 per cent across the euro area [countries that use the euro as their common currency].

These rates, released by EU statistics office Eurostat, show an increase on the same month last year, when youth unemployment reached 22.6 per cent across both zones.

Greece had the highest rate (62.5 per cent in February 2013) followed by Spain (56.4 per cent), Portugal (42.5 per cent) and Italy (40.5).

The youth unemployment rate in the UK was 20.2 per cent in February 2013, down from 21.4 per cent in April 2012. Germany had the lowest rate (7.5 per cent), followed by Austria (8.0 per cent) and the Netherlands (10.6 per cent).

Significant increase

The total unemployment rate across the euro area rose to 12.2 per cent in April 2013, up from 12.1 per cent in March. For nations in the EU, the rate was unchanged at 11 per cent.

Unemployment rates increased significantly across both zones compared with April 2012, when the figure was 11.2 per cent in the euro area and 10.3 per cent in the EU.

Overall statistics indicate that young people continue to be disproportionately affected by unemployment across Europe.

The UK’s total unemployment rate stood at 7.7 per cent in February. Greece has the highest rate of unemployment (27 per cent in February), followed by Spain (26.6 per cent) and Portugal with 17.8 people out of work in April.