EMU: Unemployment Rate

Tue Jun 30 04:00:00 CDT 2015

Consensus Actual Previous
Level 11.1% 11.1% 11.1%

In line with expectations the jobless rate held steady at 11.1 percent in May. The lack of volatility reflected a modest 35,000 fall in the number of people out of work to 17.726 million.

Youth unemployment made better progress, the rate here declining 0.2 percentage points to 22.1 percent.

Regionally the national unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.7 percent in Germany and at 12.4 percent in Italy. It fell a further 0.2 percentage points to 22.5 percent in Spain but rose a tick to 10.3 percent in France to match its recent March high. Top of the jobless ladder was again Greece (25.6 percent in March).

Today's data are consistent with still sluggish growth of the Eurozone economy and underline the importance of getting growth in the core countries in particular back up to a more acceptable pace.

The unemployment rate measures the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force.

Unemployment data are closely monitored by the financial markets. These data give a comprehensive report on the state of the economy and its future direction. A rising unemployment rate can be a warning sign of hard times while a low rate can be a warning of inflation as wages are bid up to attract labor.

Unemployment data are expressed in both a numerical value and as a percentage of the labor force. Generally, the definition of those unemployed follows that of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). It states that an unemployed person is one between the ages of 15 to 74 years of age who was not employed during the reference week, had actively sought work during the past four weeks and was ready to begin working immediately or within two weeks. The unemployment rate is the percentage of unemployed persons over the total number of active persons in the labor market. Active persons are those who are either employed or unemployed.

Eurostat provides an unemployment rate for each EU country as well as for the EMU and EU as a whole. It should be noted that the unemployment rate for a country will frequently differ with that reported by the national statistics agency. That is because of the varying interpretations of the ILO definition by member states and Eurostat.