Unemployment in the EU remained stable in March 2011. While the labour markets still show steady signs of recovery in some Member States, in others they continued to decline, according to the latest Monthly Labour Market Fact Sheet published by the Commission.
Despite the moderate economic recovery, conditions are generally set to remain weak for some time, while unemployment is still persistently high and even rising in some Member States.
The unemployment rate at EU level, after slightly falling from 9.6% to 9.5% in January 2011 has remained stable in the months up to March. The decline in employment has stopped as of the second quarter last year. The labour market situation for young people in the EU remains depressed though and continues to show worrying developments in almost half of the Member States. However, the youth unemployment rate at EU level, which did not rise further after November 2010, remained unchanged in March, at 20.7%.
On the positive side, firms expect to raise their employment in the next month, which is confirmed by growing hiring activity in major sectors. The restructuring activity declined in April, 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.