When will Eurozone’s unemployment rate stop being Europe’s worst nightmare?

 

László Andor, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (EC Audiovisual Services)

László Andor, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (EC Audiovisual Services)

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union estimated on Tuesday that the euro area unemployment rate was 11.6% in May; stable compared to April but reduced by 0.4% to last year’s measurements. The agency mentions that 18,552 million men and women were unemployed in May 2014; a decrease of 636.000 compared to May 2013. It seems that a year has passed but the Eurozone is still suffering from the burden called job creation which is not letting the European economy flourish.

South’s high unemployment rates demand immediate action

The highest jobless rates were recorded in Greece (26.8% in March) and Spain (25.1%). These counties are the ones that are contributing to a great extent to the high euro area unemployment rate that we are facing. Also, Italy’s unemployment rate has increased to 12.6% which indicates that the southern counties have something in common, many people are looking for a job but cannot find one. On the other hand, Austria and Germany were the “winners” in this battle reaching lowest levels of 4.7% and 5.1% respectively. Thus, the main conclusion at this point is that EU must focus on the countries with the highest employment rates so as to lower the overall figures. EU has to provide plenty of funds in order to create more jobs and deal with this long-lasting issue. However, it is very important that these funds will be well-exploited by the national governments as well.

Europe: a continent of aged workforce

The old continent has been transformed into a place where the people composing the manpower are much older than in the past. The numbers are more than revealing; 3,356 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in May. The overall percentage is 23.3% of which 11.5% were males and the remaining 11.7% females. Furthermore, Greece with a 57.7% (March 2014) and Spain with 54% are the worst among the euro countries. It is devastating when you realize that the people that are contributing the most to pensions of the elders are not actually doing so because they are jobless. EU must take care of them by trying to provide them with jobs in order to bring growth and sustainability to the youth of each country.

Unemployment has a direct impact on Europe’s growth

Growth is still anemic and certainly unemployment is one of the factors that is pushing the rates down. “A mild recovery continues but it is still leaving many people behind. We can only really speak of a proper recovery when Europe’s economy creates new jobs in hundreds of thousands every month on a sustained basis” European Commissioner for Employment Laszlo Andor said.

A good example is Siemens that a week ago decided to cut about 1 billion euros in costs which basically means that more than 11.600 people will be fired. And we observe that not from a struggling SME but from one of the largest European engineering companies. European institutions and bodies have to figure out a permanent solution for this problem that plagues all societies and is creating damages to people and especially to young persons. It is not rare to encounter unsociable and depressing behaviours because people are unemployed and left in a deadline for a long period of time. It is time for Europe to stand and face unemployment once and for all.

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