Joblessness caused by crisis has hit US harder than EU - Eurostat

Joblessness caused by crisis has hit US harder than EU - Eurostat

Unemployment in the European Union has grown since the first quarter of 2008 as a result of the economic crisis, but the increase has been smaller than in the United States, where the rate has overtaken that in the 27-member bloc despite having been much lower at the start of the crisis, EU statistical office Eurostat said on May 11 2010.On a more detailed level, similar patterns in the evolution of unemployment by gender and educational level during the crisis can be observed in the EU27 and the US.Long-term unemployment is higher in the EU27, but rising fast in the US.In the first quarter of 2010, seasonally adjusted unemployment in the EU27 was 9.6 per cent, just less than the rate in the US which was 9.7 per cent.US unemployment before the crisis was at its lowest level in the second quarter of 2007 at 4.5 per cent and peaked in the fourth quarter of 2009 at 10 per cent.In the EU, unemployment started to increase in the first quarter of 2008, when it was 6.7 per cent. Since then, unemployment has increased to reach 9.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2010.While the rate continued to rise in the EU in the first quarter of 2010, it decreased in the US, according to Eurostat.In both the EU and the US, men were more affected by unemployment than women, Eurostat said.In the EU, the unemployment rate was 9.8 per cent for men in the first quarter of 2010 compared with 9.3 per cent for women.For the first time since the beginning of the series in 2000, the unemployment rate for men overtook the rate for women in May 2009, Eurostat said.In the US, unemployment was 10.7 per cent for men in the first quarter of 2010 compared with 8.5 per cent for women.As in the EU27, unemployment among men in the US rose more quickly during the crisis than for women.Between the third quarter of 2007 and the fourth quarter of 2009, unemployment among men rose by 2.9 percentage points (pp) in the EU27 and by 6.5 pp in the US. The increases for women in the same period, 1.5 pp in the EU27 and 4.1 pp in the US, were smaller.In the EU and in the US, unemployment rrose most strongly in absolute terms for those with the lowest level of education.In the EU, the rate increased by 4.3 percentage points between the fourth quarters of 2007 and 2009 for those with less than upper secondary education, while it rose by 1.4 pp for those with tertiary level education. In the US over the same period, the rate rose by 7.7 pp for those with less than upper secondary education, and by 3.9 pp for those with tertiary level education.In both the EU and the US, long term unemployment rose more than short term unemployment.However, long term unemployment was relatively high in the EU27 before the crisis, while it was low in the US.In the EU, the rate for short term unemployment (less than one month) increased by 0.1 percentage points between the fourth quarters of 2007 and 2009, while the long term unemployment rate (six months and longer) grew by 1.3 pp. In the US, the rate for short term unemployment rose by 0.2 pp between the fourth quarters of 2007 and 2009, while the long term unemployment rate gained 2.9 pp.Eurostat noted that the definitions of unemployment duration differed from those generally used by Eurostat in order to allow a comparison with the US.definitions for short-term and long-term unemployment.For the EU27 and all member states, short term unemployment refers to a duration of unemployment of less than a month, medium term unemployment to one to six months, and long term unemployment to six months and more. For the US, short term unemployment refers to a duration of up to five weeks, medium term unemployment to five to 26 weeks and long term unemployment to 27 weeks or more.

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