Eurozone unemployment rose to 7.9% in July despite easing restrictions


July was marked by some relaxation of COVID-19 measures in many EU Member States, but despite this, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in the eurozone went up to 7.9% from 7.7% in June.

While these figures indicate a worsening situation, they remain below those seen during the European sovereign debt crisis, when unemployment reached a record high.

The coronavirus pandemic has left the eurozone facing a serious recession, with the economy shrinking by 12.1% in the second quarter of this year — the worst contraction since records began, according to Eurostat.

As many as 15.184 million men and women in the bloc, 12.793 million of whom were in the eurozone, were unemployed in July 2020, according to Eurostat data.

Compared with June 2020, the number of people unemployed increased by 336,000 in the EU and by 344,000 in the eurozone’s 19 countries.

Eurostat based its estimates on the globally used International Labour Organisation standard definition of unemployment — unemployed people are counted as those without a job who have been actively seeking work in the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks.

In other words, the unemployment rate is probably much, much higher, if the people who have stopped looking for jobs are counted. If you have to stay home to teach your kids, you can’t really seek work.