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Europe – Employment drops, construction industry hardest hit

14 December 2012

It will come as no surprise that labour markets in Europe continued to deteriorate in the third quarter of the year as employment levels dropped across the region, the latest figures by the EU’s statistics office show today.

The number of people with a job in the three months to September fell by -0.7% in the Eurozone when compared to a year ago. In the European Union as a whole, employment shrunk by -0.5%.

Employment decreased in several sectors, but the construction industry was worst off seeing a year-on-year decrease of -4.1% in the EU.

Other sectors hit by the decline include agriculture (-2.1%), industry (-1.1%) and manufacturing (-1.3%). Fewer people were also employed in the financial and insurance sector where employment figures dropped by -1.1% in the third quarter.

But not all industries recorded lower job levels. The information and communication sector posted the highest year-on-year increase in employment (+2.1%), followed by real estate (+1.9%), arts & entertainment (+1.3%), professional and support service (+0.6%) and administration/public service (+0.1%).

The figures indicate that 222.6 million people were in employment during the third quarter of the year, 146.0 million of which could be found in the Euro countries. Unemployment in Europe remains at a record high and last stood at 10.7% in October, with the Euro area posting a higher rate at 11.7%.

In a recent report, the European Commission said that “the economic and employment outlook is bleak and has worsened in recent months and is not expected to improve in 2013, although a more positive outlook for the labour markets is still expected in 2014.”


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