Euro zone jobless rate steady at 12.0 percent

BRUSSELS Tue Apr 2, 2013 7:42am EDT

Manuel Sastre, 59, smokes a cigarette as he asks for money in central Madrid July 31, 2012. REUTERS/Susana Vera

Manuel Sastre, 59, smokes a cigarette as he asks for money in central Madrid July 31, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Susana Vera

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The euro zone jobless rate was stable at 12.0 percent in February, the European Union statistics office Eurostat said on Tuesday, which could add pressure for an interest rate cut by the European Central Bank.

The February number was in line with expectations of economists polled by Reuters, and remained unchanged from January's figure, which Eurostat revised up to 12.0 percent.

Data from the bloc of 17 countries using the euro showed another 33,000 people out of work in February, almost 1.8 million more than in the same time last year.

Unemployment of under 25s rose to 23.9 percent in the euro zone, with rates in Greece and Spain remaining over 50 percent.

After three years of austerity policies to tackle the economic crisis in the European Union, some politicians have warned that cost-cutting measures which raise unemployment could result in the rise of populist governments.

"Prolonging austerity today risks not achieving a reduction in deficits but the certainty of making governments unpopular so that populists will swallow them whole when the time comes," French President Francois Hollande said last week.

The dire social impact of Europe's economic situation may give an impetus for the ECB to cut interest rates when central bank governors meet on Thursday.

For further details of Eurostat data click on: here

(Reporting By Ethan Bilby; editing by Jan Strupczewski)

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Comments (3)
branchltd wrote:
The US unemployment rate is fudged. It is actually far higher than reported. Since Obama first took office the percent of the population employed has fallen from 71% to 66% in 2011 and possibly 59% in 2012 (Wikipedia, link below). Based on the unemployment rate when he took office, the figures are consistent a unemployment rate over 20%.

Apr 02, 2013 9:26am EDT  --  Report as abuse
branchltd wrote:
Since the Obama administration manipulated the calculations of the unemployment rate you actually have to look at the percent of the population employed to gauge the true depth of the problem in America. According to sources from Wikipedia the 2008 employment rate was 71% and the 2012 unemployment rate was 59%. We can thank those who voted for Obama for this.

Apr 02, 2013 9:40am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Pete_Murphy wrote:
Because economists refuse to give any credence to the notion that population growth could have economic conseqences, they are blind to the real driving force behind worsening unemployment around the globe – the inverse relationship between population density and per capita consumption. Since per capita consumption and per capita employment are inextricably linked, worsening unemployment is inescapable as long as economists lean on population growth as a crutch for macroeconomic growth, and lean on high rates of immigration to stoke population growth. With a population density close to that of China, it’s no wonder that Europe has high unemployment.

Apr 03, 2013 6:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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