Eurozone unemployment drops to record low amid concerns on falling population

The eurozone unemployment rate fell to 6.4 per cent in November, the lowest level since the introduction of the euro, according to data released by the European statistics office Eurostat on Tuesday. Economists had not expected the 0.1 point drop from October.

Across the entire EU, the unemployment rate was 5.9 per cent in November, down from 6.0 per cent in October. The youth unemployment rate was 14.5 per cent in both the EU and the eurozone.

According to Eurostat, 12.954 million people were unemployed in the EU in November last year. 10.970 million of them were located in the 20 eurozone countries. Unemployment dropped by 144,000 in the EU and 99,000 in the eurozone compared to October 2023.

Eurostat's calculation method recorded the highest unemployment rates in Spain (11.9 per cent) and Greece (9.4 per cent), and the lowest in the Czech Republic (2.4 per cent) and Malta (2.5 per cent). Belgium had an unemployment rate of 5.6 per cent.

Migrants solution for falling population

But the bloc remains concerned about its shrinking working-age population, those aged 15 to 64. On Monday, the European Commission said the EU needs 1 million migrants a year to offset this decline. Currently, around 3.5 million migrants enter the EU legally every year.

A document published by the Commission shows that without migration, the EU's working population will fall to 238 million in 2060, a drop of more than 25 per cent compared to 2014. Meanwhile, Eurostat estimates that the EU's labour force will shrink even faster than the total population.

The EU's working-age population is currently falling by 1 million people a year, Home Affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson told the EUobserver newspaper. "That means that legal migration should more or less grow by 1 million a year. It is really a challenge to do that in an orderly way."



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