Unemployment in the EU slightly decreased in April 2011. While the labour markets still show steady signs of recovery in some Member States, in others they continued to deteriorate, according to the latest Monthly Labour Market Fact Sheet published by the Commission.
Despite a pick-up in economic activity in the first quarter of 2011 (+0.8%), conditions are generally set to remain weak for some time, while unemployment is still persistently high in some Member States.
The unemployment rate at EU level, after remaining stable at 9.5% in the four months to March 2011, slightly declined to 9.4% in April (9.3% for men and 9.5% for women). The decline in employment has stopped as of the second quarter last year. The labour market situation for young people in the EU, although it tends to improve overall, remains depressed and youth unemployment continues to show upward trends in eleven Member States. The youth unemployment rate at EU level, which had not risen since November 2010, eased further in April, to 20.3%.
On the positive side, hiring activity remains solid, despite a slowdown in firms' employment expectations in some major sectors. The restructuring activity continued to decline in May, with a very limited net impact on jobs. In the current economic context, employment and unemployment expectations remain broadly stable but somewhat mixed across sectors and countries, and the outlook is still potentially one of persistently high unemployment in some Member States.