Where in Europe was unemployment the lowest in March?

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By Doloresz Katanich
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Unemployment in the Eurozone remained at a record low of 6.5% in March, the same as February.


Unemployment across Europe showed little change in March, compared to February, according to Eurostat. 

The rate in the Eurozone remained at 6.5%, the same as in the first two months of the year and down from 6.6% in March 2023. Across the 27 countries in the EU, the rate slightly decreased to 6% from 6.1% in February. Compared to March last year, it remained unchanged. 

There was an estimated 13.258 million people without jobs in the EU, of whom 11.087 million in the euro area, were unemployed in March 2024.

Meanwhile, the youth unemployment rate, which includes people under 25 years old seeking employment, went down to 14.1% in March from 14.4% in February.

In a monthly comparison, the number of young people searching for a job decreased by 11,000 in the EU and by 30,000 across the Eurozone. 

Countries with the highest and lowest unemployment rates

The biggest economy of the bloc, Germany, appears to have a fairly static unemployment rate which remained at 3.2% for the first three months of the year. 

Meanwhile the fourth largest economy, Spain, is battling the highest jobless rate in Europe, though it has been inching down each month, from 11.9% in January, to 11.7% in March. 

The second biggest economy, France, has seen a similar pace of lowering its own rate, which was 7.3% in March, while Italy, the fourth largest contributor to the European GDP, reported an unexpected drop in its unemployment rate to 7.2%, the lowest in more than 15 years, from a downwardly revised 7.4% in the previous month. 

Among the 27 countries in the European Union, the Czech Republic and Poland are the only two with the lowest rate, at just under 3%. 

The European labour market, though it shows no signs of major risks, is not going to stay as stable as it is now, according to the latest forecast of global credit rating agency S&P.

"The question is no longer whether the unemployment rate will rise this year, but by how much it will rise," the report said, citing high labour costs, a decline in vacancies and not much increase in employment.

S&P Global Ratings expects the unemployment rate to be 6.7% at the end of this year in the eurozone. 

European policymakers have come up with a variety of ideas on how to deal with the upcoming challenges, as part of their campaign ahead the of the European Parliament elections, which start on 6 June, 2024.

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