Rises in youth unemployment in the EU also continued to ease in January. Unemployment for this age group expanded by a modest 22 000 (or 0.4 %) to 5.5 million, with the unemployment rate for youth increasing by a mere 0.1 pps to 20.9 %. Nevertheless, even if the rises in the youth unemployment rate have weakened recently, they are still higher than the recent more limited increases in the rate for adults, which stabilised in January.
Rises in youth unemployment in the EU continued to ease in January…
There are tentative signs that youth unemployment in the EU may be starting to level off. Youth unemployment has been rising more moderately since November, compared to the previous steeper increases observed since mid-2008. It expanded by a modest 22 000 (or 0.4 %) in January to reach 5.5 million, up by 700 000 (15 %) compared to a year earlier, and by 1.5 million (37.7 %) compared to the low in spring 2008. Overall, young people account for one-fifth (21.3 %) of the total increase in unemployment since 2008, although youth unemployment as a share of total unemployment decreased slightly from around 25 % in 2008 to just below 24 % in January 2010.
Changes in unemployment for the EU
… although the unemployment rate for young people remains historically high
The youth unemployment rate has broadly been edging up by 0.2-0.4 pps per month since March of last year, which is a much slower rate than the steep rises at the beginning of 2009. In January it increased by only 0.1 pps to reach 20.9 %, up 3.2 pps on January 2009 and up 6.2 pps compared to the low of March 2008. The marked increase in the youth unemployment rate since spring 2008 has been driven mainly by a very sharp rise in the rate for young men, who account for more than two-thirds of the increase in youth unemployment since then.
Youth unemployment rates for the EU
More information: DG Employment Monthly Labour Market Monitor March 2010