Unemployment in the eurozone remained stuck at 11.5 per cent for a third consecutive month in August, data released on Tuesday showed, defying efforts to whittle it down.
The 18-country currency bloc has pulled out of recession, but has struggled to make a significant dent in unemployment since it reached a record 12 per cent last year.
August’s seasonally adjusted rate was in line with analysts’ expectations. The month saw a total of 18.3 million people out of work in the eurozone, according to the European Union’s statistics agency Eurostat.
In the wider, 28-country EU, 24.6 million people were estimated to be jobless in August, yielding an unemployment rate of 10.1 per cent – down from 10.2 per cent a month earlier.
“The level of unemployment has been slowly decreasing in Europe over the last year, but remains unacceptably high,” EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor said in a statement.
“In the absence of overall economic growth, no labour market reform can resolve an economic crisis of the magnitude we are experiencing in Europe,” he added.
Youth unemployment has been of particular concern. In August, 3.3 million people under the age of 25 were out of work in the eurozone and just under 5 million in the EU.
The highest youth unemployment rates continued to be found in Spain and Greece at over 50 per cent. The two countries also have consistently posted the highest overall jobless rates at around 25 per cent.
Germany and Austria, on the other hand, have been recording the lowest unemployment rates. In August, they were under 5 per cent overall and around 8 per cent for youths.