Eurozone jobless rate close to five-year low


Eurozone unemployment fell to a near five-year low in May, official data said on Friday, in a rare positive sign for a sluggish European economy struggling to return to solid growth.

The data covers a period before last week’s shock Brexit vote, which economists believe has made the eurozone more unstable and could negatively affect growth and job figures in the medium term.

The Eurostat statistics agency said unemployment in the 19-country eurozone fell to 10.1 percent in May from 10.2 percent in April.

The rate fell in with analyst forecasts as the eurozone continues a painfully slow recovery after unemployment hit record highs during the worst of the debt crisis.

Unemployment in the full 28-nation European Union was unchanged at 8.6 percent in February, Eurostat said.

One of the lowest jobless rate was in powerhouse Germany, at 4.2 percent, while the highest were in debt-laden Greece at 24.1 percent and Spain with 19.8 percent.

Unemployment in the single currency bloc hit a record high of 12.1 percent during the worst of the debt crisis.