Unemployment in Europe continues to be an economic and social disaster.
According to Eurostat (pdf), while joblessness in the 17-country euro bloc was 11.4 percent of the working population in August, and thus stable compared to July on a statistical basis, another 34,000 people found themselves out of work. That was the sixteenth straight monthly rise in the number of unemployed workers, leaving 18.2 million people unemployed in the euro zone. Meanwhile, 25.5 million men and women remained unemployed in the entire European Union.
The unemployment rates ranged from a low of 4.5 percent in Austria to a high of 25.1 percent in Spain.
The youth (under 25) unemployment rate was even higher: 22.7 percent in Europe and 22.8 percent in the euro area—meaning, in August, 5.5 million young persons were suffering joblessness in Europe, of whom 3.4 million were in the euro area.
And, according to Reuters, the problem is probably going to get even worse:
Joblessness could go beyond 19 million by early 2014, or about 12 percent of the euro zone’s workforce, according to a new study by consultancy Ernst & Young, predicting that rate to rise to 27 percent in indebted Greece. That compares with 24.4 percent in the country in June, the latest data available.