Brussels, 3 June 2020 (dpa/MIA) – The rate of joblessness in the eurozone currency area increased 0.2 percentage points in April, the month after most European countries imposed coronavirus containment measures.
The European Union’s official statistics agency reported on Wednesday unemployment at 7.3 per cent, up from 7.1 per cent in March in the 19-country group.
Luxembourg-based Eurostat also revised downwards on Wednesday its previously published figure for March of 7.4 per cent.
The unemployment rate for the entire 27-country EU was 6.6 per cent in April 2020, up from 6.4 per cent in March 2020, an increase of some 397,000 people.
The eurozone has seen a long period of falling unemployment following a peak of more than 12 per cent in 2012, though the number of people out of work differs greatly country to country.
Greece, Italy and Spain all face stubborn labour market issues, particularly affecting younger people.
Since March, Covid-19 containment measures “have triggered a sharp increase in the number of claims for unemployment benefits across the EU,” Eurostat said.
The agency counts people as unemployed if they are out of work and “have been actively seeking work in the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks.”
However, many people registered with national unemployment agencies were not actively looking for work if they were constrained by lockdown measures or childcare responsibilities.
“This leads to discrepancies in the number of registered unemployed and those measured as unemployed,” Eurostat said in a statement.