Eurozone unemployment at lowest level since 1999

The euro area’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.4 per cent from 6.5 per cent in March

Eurozone unemployment dropped further in April, falling by 0.1 percentage points as a strong jobs market took the rate to its lowest level since the formation of the currency bloc in 1999.

The euro area’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.4 per cent, with just under 11 million people unemployed, according to data from Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency, on Thursday. This was down from 6.5 per cent in March.

Across the wider EU region the figure was 6 per cent, amounting to 13.1 million people, a reading that remained flat on the previous month.

Italy’s unemployment rate declined to 6.9 per cent in April from a downwardly revised 7.1 per cent the month before, separate data showed on Thursday, as some 84,000 jobs were created in the month.

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The April rate was the lowest since December, 2008, national statistics bureau ISTAT reported.

Meanwhile, in the US, the number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits ticked higher last week, but underlying strength in the labour market still shows signs of persisting and should continue to support the economy.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 219,000 for the week ended May 25th, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 218,000 claims in the latest week.

The labour market is steadily rebalancing in the wake of 525 basis points worth of interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve since March, 2022 to slow demand in the overall economy. – Financial Times, Reuters