The unemployment rate in Malta remained stable at 6.3 percent in July, as did the jobless rates in the Eurozone and the EU27, though these were higher at 11.3 percent and 10.4 percent respectively. But we cannot boast the lowest unemployment in the EU, that accolade belonging to Austria with a rate of 4.5 percent. Malta’s rate was the fourth lowest in the EU.
According to Eurostat, seasonally-adjusted unemployment amongst youths (under 25’s) continued to edge up slightly in the Eurozone to 22.6 percent but was stable in the EU27 at 22.5 percent. The two countries who have avoided the youth unemployment plague so prevalent in the EU were Germany and Austria, with rates of 8.0 percent and 8.9 percent respectively. At 12.2 percent, Malta’s rate was the fourth lowest amongst those who reported. But, whilst Germany’s youth unemployment rate was stable, Malta’s rose by 2.5 percent.
Youths in Malta must thank their lucky stars not to have been born in Spain, where youth unemployment has now reached a staggering 52.9 percent. But high double-digit rates are all-too-common elsewhere, with 37.8 percent in Slovakia and 36.4 percent in Portugal.
The magnitude of the problem is amply evident from the overall number of the unemployed – that’s 18m now in the Eurozone and 25.2m in the EU27, of which between 3.3m and 5.5m are youths. Unemployment has followed an upward path since the early part of 2008, and what’s more it does not seem we have yet seen the peak.
The ongoing European sovereign debt crisis is getting most of the blame for the employer job cuts. It has cut into lending by banks, reduced government employment as part of austerity plans to deal with rising debt, and led to private-sector job losses due to decreased customer demand.
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