The number of people unemployed in the eurozone dipped slightly in May, but not by enough to dent the unemployment rate.
Some 18.5 million people were out of work in May, 28,000 fewer than in April, but the jobless rate remained at 11.6%, the Eurostat agency said.
April’s figure had initially been reported at 11.7%, but was revised down to 11.6%.
Separately, a survey showed eurozone manufacturing growth eased in June.
The unemployment report highlighted again the divergence between northern and southern Europe. In Germany the unemployment rate was 5.1%, while Italy’s was 12.6% and Spain’s was 25.1%.
Youth unemployment – which stands at 23.3% – remains a serious problem across the euro area, and is much worse in southern European countries such as Greece and Spain.
“May’s unemployment data highlight that the eurozone’s economic recovery is still too weak to erode the significant amount of slack in the labour market,” said Jessica Hinds of Capital Economics in a research note.
The manufacturing survey added to those concerns.
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