Irish unemployment rate of 8.6 at mid-table in EU league

Ireland’s unemployment fell to 8.6% in January — the lowest rate for more than seven years and down from a crisis peak of 15.1% in February 2012 — but remains only around the mid-table of the EU’s jobless performance league.

Figures also published yesterday from Eurostat, which compiles the EU jobless rates but only as of December, show the average EU unemployment rate stood at 9% at the end of the year.

The average rate includes the Czech Republic and Germany with the lowest jobless rates of 4.5% and features Croatia, Spain, and Greece with rates of 16.5%, 20.8%, and 24.5% respectively — the three highest in the EU.

The UK — one of Ireland’s largest trading partners —had a jobless rate of 5.1% at the end of the year, according to Eurostat.

Countries with lower rates than Ireland’s also include Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg, Hungary, Estonia, Netherlands, Romania, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, and Lithuania.

Eurostat said that, in December 2015, the average rate of unemployment in the 19 states in the eurozone stood at 10.4%.

Eurozone states with higher unemployment than Ireland’s include Finland, France, Latvia, Slovakia, and Italy.

Ireland has the lowest rate of unemployment of the eurozone states that received some sort of official bailout during the financial crisis.

Portugal, with a rate of 11.8%, has also seen large falls in unemployment in recent years.

Eurostat said that 21.94m people were unemployed across the 28 EU states in December of whom 16.75m live in the 19 eurozone states.

Capital Economics in London said the fall in eurozone unemployment was encouraging “but the rate remains too high to boost wage growth” adding that there were still “deflationary pressures in the pipeline”.

Data published next week will probably confirm the eurozone economy grew for an 11th straight quarter at the end of 2015.

While the pace of expansion has been modest, joblessness is slowly declining.

“The job-market outlook in a nutshell is quite robust,” said Frederik Ducrozet, an economist at Banque Pictet.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Cork Company of the Year Awards 2017: 'Large' Category

Highest fuel prices for almost 18 months - and it could get worse

Challenge for Irish business negotiating new trading arrangements during Brexit negotiations

Cork Business Association celebrating its 60th in style


Breaking Stories

The best part of Resident Evil 7 is playing in virtual reality

Donald Trump threatens business leaders considering relocation with border tax

Tekken 7 will arrive in the UK on June 2

Babee on Board helps pregnant women get a seat on public transport

Lifestyle

It's been a long and winding road for music group Fairport Convention

We’ll have to shout ‘stop’ to non-bio plastics, or else...

The Big Book of Happiness is here

Smartphones have ushered in a golden age of personal eccentricity

More From The Irish Examiner