The eurozone’s youth unemployment rate worsened last month to a new record high of 24.4% as under-25s in Spain, Italy and Portugal struggled to find work.
Spain’s youth unemployment rate increased to 57.4%, only marginally below Greece’s August high of 58%, which remains the highest rate of youth unemployment for any country in the eurozone’s history. Italy’s youth unemployment rate rose to 41.2%, from 40.5% the previous month. In Portugal, it rose to 36.5% from 36.2%.
The startling figures from southern Europe contrast with rates in the north where Germany has a 7.8% youth unemployment rate and the Netherlands an 11.6% rate.
But a small fall in the number of younger people out of work in the Netherlands and the country’s recent exit from a year-long recession failed to prevent it from being stripped of its AAA credit rating on Friday.
Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s said on Friday that weakening growth prospects showed the country would struggle to improve its financial stability and generate new jobs.
It said: “The downgrade reflects our opinion that the Netherlands’ growth prospects are now weaker than we had previously anticipated, and the real GDP per capita trend growth rate is persistently lower than that of peers.”
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