April jobless rate drops to 11.6%, lowest since April 2012, Eurostat says


By Stelios Orpanides

Cyprus’s unemployment rate dropped in April to 11.6 per cent from 12 per cent in March and 15.7 per cent in April 2015, which is the sixth highest in Europe and the lowest since April 2012, the European Union’s statistical office said.

In the euro area, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 10.2 per cent last month compared to March and dropped from 11 per cent compared to April 2015, Eurostat said in a statement on its website on Tuesday. In the EU, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.7 per cent from 8.8 in March and 9.6 per cent in April last year.

Cyprus’s drop in the unemployment rate by 4.1 percentage points in a year was the most extensive in both the euro area and the European Union, Eurostat said. The number of jobseekers in Cyprus fell in April to 47,000 from 49,000 in March and 68,000 in April 2015, Eurostat said.

Bulgaria and Spain, which saw in April their respective rates drop by 2.9 and 2.6 percentage points in a year to 7.1 per cent and 20.1 per cent followed Cyprus, Eurostat said. The jobless rate in Estonia and Latvia rose from 6.7 per cent to 6.8 per cent and 9.5 per cent to 9.6 per cent respectively.

Greece’s 24.2 per cent unemployment rate from February, the latest available, was the highest in the EU, followed by the April figures of Spain, Croatia’s 14.6 per cent, Portugal’s 12 per cent and Italy’s 11.7 per cent, Eurostat said. The Czech Republic, Germany and Malta reported the lowest rates in April which stood at 4.1 per cent, 4.2 per cent and 4.3 per cent.

Still, the youth unemployment rate in Cyprus remained at 27.7 per cent in March, the latest available figure, unchanged compared to February and down from 32.6 per cent in April 2015, Eurostat said. The unemployment rate among men fell to 11.8 per cent in April from 12.5 per cent in March and among women to 11.3 per cent from 11.6 per cent.

11 Countdown to Quantitative Easing?

By Stelios Papadopoulos

At a Financial Times banking summit, Vitor Constancio, the European Central Bank’s  vice president, gave a strong hint that the central bank could begin buying sovereign bonds in the first quarter

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