Unemployment in the euro area remained stable in December, despite the lock-down measures introduced, compared to a month earlier. According to Eurostat, as in November, 8.3% of the labour force was unemployed. This brought to an end the recovery that began in the summer of last year.
The recovery was also halted throughout the European Union. According to Eurostat, 7.5% of the labour force in the country Union was out of work. That percentage was also the same as in November. Unemployment is rising on an annual basis in both the euro area and the European Union. In the euro area, unemployment in December 2019 was around 7.4%. In the European Union, this was 6.5%.
Unemployment, particularly among young people, continued to increase. In the age group up to 25, unemployment in the euro area went up to 18.5%, from 18.1% a month earlier. In the EU, this percentage rose from 17.5 to 17.8.
According to Eurostat estimates, 16 million people were unemployed throughout the EU in December. Of these, 13.7 million live in a euro country.
Economist Bert Colijn from ING stresses that the second wave does not seem to have any real effect on unemployment. He points out, however, that unemployment among young people is approaching the level of the first wave. In his view, this indicates that people with temporary or flex contracts, on which many young people depend, are particularly affected by the crisis.