Eurostat registers fall in EU unemployment

According to recent Eurostat figures, unemployment in the European Union fell in the months of June and July 1997, with average levels down by 0.1 percentage points to 10.6% in July.

According to statistics released by the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) in late September 1997, the average level of unemployment across the EU fell during both June and July 1997. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates were down to 10.7% in June and 10.6% (some 18 million people) in July after having remained static at 10.8% for the previous five months. Unemployment stood at 5.0% in the USA and 3.4% in Japan in June 1997.

Eurostat stated that the drop could primarily be explained by falling rates in the UK, the Scandinavian countries, Portugal and Spain. With a July figure of 19.9%, unemployment in Spain fell below 20% for the first time since October 1992. In Finland, the figure dropped more dramatically from 16.4% in May to 12.5% in July. According to Eurostat, the "encouraging" overall trend does not extend to Germany, where unemployment continues to rise (to 9.7%). The table below shows seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for June and July 1997:

Country June July
Austria 4.5% 4.5%
Belgium 9.6% 9.6%
Denmark 6.1% n/a
Finland 14.3% 12.5%
France 12.6% 12.6%
Germany 9.7% 9.7%
Greece n/a n/a
Ireland 10.8% 10.8%
Italy n/a n/a
Luxembourg 3.7% 3.8%
Netherlands 5.7% n/a
Portugal 6.4% 6.3%
Spain 20.2% 19.9%
Sweden 10.8% 10.5%
UK 7.0% 6.9%
EU 10.7% 10.6%
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