Euro zone unemployment stable at 7.1% in Feb


Euro zone unemployment held steady at record lows in February, data showed on Tuesday, as a further tightening of the labor market in Germany offset a rise in joblessness in Spain and Ireland.

The European Union statistics office said unemployment in the 15 countries using the euro was 7.1% in February, unchanged from January and in line with the expectations of economists polled by Reuters. In the whole European Union of 27 member states, the jobless rate fell to 6.7% from January’s 6.8%. It was still higher than in the United States, where it eased to 4.8%, and in Japan, where it rose to 3.9%.

The tightening labor market, a result of two years of healthy economic expansion, is a good sign for the economy as more people with jobs fuel domestic demand at a time when euro zone exports face slower global growth and a strong euro. But the European Central Bank is also worried that falling unemployment could trigger excessive wage demands, especially at a time when oil prices are rising fast, starting a wage-inflation spiral. (Reuters)


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