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According this edition of the EU Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review difficulties on the labour markets remain persistent in a context of economic stagnation. They are marked by ever higher unemployment at EU level (10.7% in November 2012) and rising divergence across Member States, while the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU now accounts for nearly one-fourth of the EU population.
The share of the EU population reporting their households are experiencing financial distress has risen sharply in recent months, while living standards and the perceived quality of life have declined with the crisis. On the positive side, the unadjusted gender pay gap in the EU declined between 2008 and 2010.