Spanish job boom cuts European unemployment
1 July 2005, BRUSSELS — Strong job creation in Spain and Germany pushed the European unemployment rates lower in May, Eurostat data shows.
1 July 2005
BRUSSELS — Strong job creation in Spain and Germany pushed the European unemployment rates lower in May, Eurostat data shows.
Both saw unemployment rates drop from double-digit figures: Spain to 9.9 percent from 10 and Germany's from 10 percent 9.6, the BBC reported.
In both the EU at large and in the smaller eurozone, the unemployment rate fell to 8.8 percent in May from 8.9 percent in April.
In the 25 EU member states there were 19.1 million job seekers, 12.8 million of them in the eurozone.
Unemployment rates are high when compared with the US, where the unemployment rate is 5.1 percent and Japan, where the rate is 4.4 percent.
And in Europe's two biggest economies, Germany and France, high unemployment has become a political issue.
The latest figures follow a report released earlier this week, which showed German business confidence had improved for the first time in five months.
The recent fall in the euro sparked fresh optimism among German firms.
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's proposed economic reforms have however met with much resistance, where unemployment hit its highest level since the 1930s earlier this year.
Schroeder lost a confidence vote in parliament, paving the way for its dissolution and early elections, as he wanted.
"If we are to continue with this agenda, legitimacy through new elections is required," Mr Schroeder said.
In neighbouring France, where the unemployment rate is at a five-year peak of 10.2 percent, prime minister Dominique de Villepin has made the battle against unemployment a priority.
Subject: Spanish news