Greek unemployment rate records biggest percentage decline in EU

Greek unemployment rate records biggest percentage decline in EU”

Unemployment in the eurozone shrank modestly towards the end of last year, approaching a nine-year low as economic conditions in the bloc continue to improve.

The eurozone unemployment rate fell in November to its lowest level in almost nine years, highlighting the further pickup of the 19-country bloc's economy at the end of 2017.

Eurostat, the EU's official statistics agency said that the jobless rate fell to 8.7 per cent in November, hitting analyst predictions and down from 8.8 per cent in October.

The agency said 107,000 people came out of the unemployment register during the month, taking the total out of work down to 14.26 million.

Though the unemployment rate has been on a downward trend in the eurozone, it remains more than double the US rate of 4.1 percent.

Greek unemployment rate records biggest percentage decline in EU

The subsequent eurozone debt crisis, however, during which several countries in the region reduced their levels of public-sector employment as part of austerity measures, saw the rate move back above 12% in 2013.

However, the Financial Times points out that comparing figures from individual countries reveals significant divergences: Germany and Malta, for example, boast a mere 3.6 percent unemployment rate; Italy and Cyprus have an 11 percent unemployment; and Greece displays a joblessness rate of 20.5 percent. And Spain's unemployment rate was unchanged at 16.7 percent.

Still, even there, there are signs of improvement.

Unemployment also fell in Ireland, the Netherlands and in Portugal. Economists had forecast 2.3 percent increase. Economists had expected 1.2 percent growth.

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