The austerity measures introduced in the EU are taking a heavy toll on its workforce. New figures published by the EU's statstics agency, Eurostat, show that unemployment in Greece and Spain stands at 18.8 per cent and 13.3 per cent respectively. Unemployment in Germany, however, has fallen from 9.1 per cent to 8.1 per cent.
Young workers, between 18 and 24, have been hit the hardest with unemployment rates much higher than those for the workforce as a whole. In November 2011 5.579 million young people were unemployed in the EU27, of whom 3.394 million were in the euro area. Eurostat calculates that 23.7 million people were out of work across the EU as a whole, an increase of 723,000.
Meetings will be held by leaders in the coming weeks to discuss the inflated levels of unemployment and the future of the single currency.