Unemployment has reached a new high in the euro zone and inflation remains well below the European Central Bank’s target, stepping up pressure on EU leaders and the ECB for action to revive the bloc’s sickly economy.
Joblessness in the 17-nation currency area rose to 12.2 percent in April, EU statistics office Eurostat said on Friday, marking a new record since the data series began in 1995.
Protesters from the “Blockupy” movement have surrounded the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, as eurozone unemployment hits another record high in April, with almost 19.4m people now out of work.
Youth unemployment crisis deepens
Nearly one in four young people across the eurozone are now out of work, showing the desperate for a new strategy on youth unemployment.
The figures just released by Eurostat show that 3.624m young people are out of work across the euro area, and 5.627 million in the wider European Union.
That means the jobless rate for 16-24 year olds in the eurozone is now 24.4%, up from 24.3% in March. An additional 180,000 young people joined the ranks of the jobless ove the last year.
In the EU, the youth jobless rate is 23.5%.
The worst rates, as ever, as recorded in Southern Europe — exactly the countries which Blockupty say they are showing solidary with today.
In Greece, 62.5% of young people are out of work, in Spain it’s 56.4%, then Portugal with 42.5%, and then Italy with 40.5%.
In contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.5%), Austria (8.0%) and the Netherlands (10.6%).
Leaders have pledged to agree a new strategy for youth unemployment at a summit in June, and many measures are lined up (details here). But the scale of the problem is huge, and worsening.
Frankfurt ‘Blockupy’ protesters surround ECB
Thousands of demonstrators from the anti-capitalist Blockupy movement cut off access to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt on Friday to protest against policymakers’ handling of Europe’s debt crisis.
Clasping signs with slogans such as “humanity before profit”, the protesters gathered in the rain to block roads including those leading to Deutsche Bank’s headquarters in the city’s financial district.
Angry crowds have occupied the EU’s main financial institutions in Frankfurt to protest against their handling of the crisis. The demonstration is expected to draw thousands throughout the day with people accusing the European Central Bank and others for the painful austerity measures which have caused misery across the continent.
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