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An anti-austerity march in Spain, which had one of the largest decreases in employment.
An anti-austerity march in Spain, which had one of the largest decreases in employment.
Image: Andres Kudacki/AP

Levels of employment in European Union still falling

Figures published by Eurostat show that over 220 million people were employed in the EU in the first quarter of this year.
Jun 14th 2013, 9:15 PM 7,195 35

THE NUMBER OF people employed in the euro area continued to decrease in the first quarter of this year, according to national accounts estimates published by Eurostat today.

Employment levels fell 0.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 and by 0.2 per cent in the 27 European Union member states over all, compared to the last quarter of 2012.

Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, employment fell by one per cent in the euro area and by 0.4 per cent in the EU27 in the first quarter of the year.

Eurostat estimates that 221.9 million men and woman were employed in the European Union countries in Q1 of 2013.

(Image: Eurostat)

Among those member states for which data was available, Lithuania (2.4 per cent), Estonia (2.3 per cent) and Latvia (1.0 per cent) recorded the highest growth rates compared with the previous quarter, while Greece (-2.3 per cent), Portugal (-2.2 per cent) Spain and Cyprus (both -1.3 per cent) and Italy (-1.2 per cent) registered the largest decreases.

Ireland showed a small increase of 0.4 per cent in the number of people employed in the first quarter.

Today economy and labour ministers from Italy, France Germany and Spain met in Rome to discuss ways to address the mass youth unemployment blighting the lives of millions across Europe.

Some 26.5 million people who were unemployed in the EU in April, 5.6 million of them were under 25 years old, which was 100,000 more than a year earlier.

Today’s meeting is aimed at preparing the ground for the European Councils of 27 and 28 June, at which youth unemployment will one of the key topics on the table, and a special meeting on the theme in Berlin on 3 July.

- Additional reporting from AFP.

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