EUROPE: UNEMPLOYMENT DECREASING, BUT JOBLESS PEOPLE ARE OVER 16 MILLION IN THE EU

Stable inflation, unemployment slightly decreasing. The figures published today by Eurostat certify that the yearly inflation rate is stable at 1.9% as of January 2007, the same figure as that of December 2006. The survey covers the 13 countries, which are members of the euro-zone, i.e. Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain. In the same states, however, the unemployment rate was 7.5% last December, slightly less than the 7.6% of one month earlier. In December 2005, this figure was 8.5%. But the situation in each country is different: the lowest unemployment rates are in Denmark (3.2%), the Netherlands (3.6%), Estonia (4.3%) and Ireland (4.4%). The highest unemployment rates are in Poland (12.8%), Slovakia (12.0%), Greece (8.7%), Spain and France (8.5%). Eurostat also found that "the unemployment rates for men has decreased from 7.1 to 6.3% within the euro-zone", while that of women "has dropped from 9.9 to 9.0%". However, the job market confirms the young have problems finding employment: "the unemployment rate for people aged under 25 within the euro-zone is 15.9%". According to Eurostat, "the total number of unemployed people within the euro-zone is now over 11 million", and up to 16.6 million in the 25-member EU. ” ”

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