Employment figures

Eurozone unemployment fell further in June to reach its lowest level since February 2009, continuing the trend of a strengthening European economy.

The unemployment rate in the eurozone has fallen to its lowest since February 2009, according to the latest official figures.

The rate dropped to 9.1 per cent last month, down from 9.2 per cent in May, according to the European Commission. The fall was greater than expected according to economists’ consensus.

The jobless rate has fallen steadily since peaking in April 2013, after the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis threatened to lead to the break-up of the single currency.

Across the European Union as a whole, including Britain, unemployment fell to its lowest since December 2008, at 7.7 per cent.

Unemployment fell in all 19 eurozone member countries except Estonia.

The lowest unemployment rates in June 2017 were in Germany at 3.8 per cent and Malta at 4.1 per cent.

Greece has the highest rate of unemployment in the eurozone at 21.7 per cent, although those figures refer to April. There were no new figures recorded for Greece in June.

The country with the second highest unemployment rate is Spain, which saw unemployment rate fall from 19.9 per cent in June 2016 to 17.1 per cent last month.

While reducing unemployment should theoretically lead to inflationary wage increases, signs of a move towards two per cent have been slow to come. .