Unemployment stabilizes in Europe, but rises in Portugal and exceeds EU average

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The unemployment rate in January was 6.7% in the euro zone and 6.1% in the Union of 27, values that have remained stable for three consecutive months. In Portugal, the trend is the opposite, with a deterioration.

The unemployment rate remained stable in January compared to the previous month in both the European Union and the euro zone, according to data released Thursday by Eurostat. Portugal bucked the trend with an unemployment rate of 7.1%, higher than the EU average and showing a worsening trend.

The unemployment rate in January was 6.7% in the euro zone and 6.1% in the 27-nation bloc, values that have remained stable for three consecutive months. Exactly the opposite of what happens in Portugal, which has recorded an increase in this indicator since July 2022 (although in November there was a stabilization at 6% and then progressed again). A “warning sign”, said on Wednesday the President of the Republic, taking into account that the international economy is still having a “slow” recovery.

“In January, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the euro area was 6.7%, stable compared to December 2022 and lower than the 6.9% recorded in January 2022,” said the Eurostat statement. In the European Union, the rate was 6.1% in January, also stable compared to the previous month and also lower than the 6.3% year-on-year.

Eurostat estimates that 13.227 million people in the EU, of which 11.288 million in the euro area, were unemployed in January, which means that there are 318,000 fewer unemployed in the EU and 220,000 fewer in the euro area than in January 2022.

Portugal has fourth highest youth unemployment

Source: Eurostat
Source: Eurostat

Regarding youth unemployment, according to Eurostat, 2.781 million people under 25 were unemployed in January, of whom 2.286 million were in the euro area. This corresponds to a youth unemployment rate of 14.4% in the EU and the euro area, down from 14.5% in the previous month and up from 14.3%. In both cases, this indicator worsened in comparison with the previous year (116 thousand more young people in the EU and 112 thousand more in the euro area).

Portugal also recorded a worsening of its unemployment rate, which rose to 20.5% in comparison with the previous month, but in this case the increase was only for three consecutive months and not since July 2022, as is the case for the unemployment rate. On a year-over-year basis, the increase was only one-tenth of a percent. Among the other countries for which data are available, Portugal has the fourth highest youth unemployment rate.

Spain, Italy and Slovakia are the countries with the highest youth unemployment rates. In the case of Spain, it was 29.6%, but stable compared to the previous month; in Italy (22.9%), however, there was a slight deterioration compared to the previous month, but a significant decrease compared to the previous year (25.4%); and in Slovakia (20.8%), the opposite occurred, i.e. a decrease compared to December 2022 and an increase compared to January 2022. Data are not yet available for Greece, a country with a historically high youth unemployment rate.

By gender, the unemployment rate is higher for women (6.5%, stable compared to December) than for men (5.7%, down one percentage point compared to the previous month). In the euro area, these figures are higher: the unemployment rate is 7.2% for women (one point higher than in December) and 6.2% for men (one point lower than in the previous month).

(News updated at 11:08 with more information)

Souce: Monica Silvares https://eco.sapo.pt/2023/03/02/desemprego-estabiliza-na-europa-mas-agrava-se-em-portugal-e-esta-acima-da-media-comunitaria/

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