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Unemployment Rates Remain Stable in Europe

But Absence of Sustained Job Growth Continues to Challenge Labor Market Recovery

In April, the unemployment rate remained stable in all European economies compared except the Netherlands, where it declined slightly from 7.3 to 7.2 percent, according to unemployment rates and employment growth data compiled and standardized by The Conference Board International Labor Comparisons (ILC) program.

In the U.S., the unemployment rate fell from 6.7 to 6.3 percent, the largest monthly decline since December 2010.

"In contrast to the rapid drop in U.S. unemployment, joblessness in the Euro Area has begun to edge slowly downward in recent months, falling to its lowest level (11.7 percent) since November 2012," said Elizabeth Crofoot, Senior Economist with the International Labor Comparisons program at The Conference Board. "However, the absence of sustained job growth outside of Germany poses a challenge for continued labor market recovery in the region."

In Germany, the unemployment rate has gradually and steadily inched down from 8.0 percent in August 2009 to 5.2 percent in April 2014.

Employment in April increased in the Netherlands and Australia, and remained stable in the U.S. and Germany. Despite steady unemployment rates in France (9.8 percent) and Japan (3.2 percent), employment experienced the largest declines in these countries. Similarly in the U.S., a sharp decline in April unemployment did not translate into increased job opportunities, emphasizing the role of discouraged workers and retiring baby boomers in bringing the U.S. unemployment rate down. April employment also declined in Sweden, Canada and Italy.

www.conference-board.org

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