Average unemployment across the 28 EU member states has fallen marginally, dropping from 10.1% in October to 10% in November, new figures from the EU’s statistical body Eurociett reveal. Year-on-year the fall is somewhat greater, as the average unemployment rate in November 2013 was 10.7%.

Umbrella Company employees and others in the UK’s professional contracting community may not have their thoughts trained on the EU on a day-to-day basis; however, concerns have been gathering for some time that the EU may be dragged into deflation by Germany’s economy in a development that could negatively impact the generally healthy growth in jobs and contracts in the UK.

In November the lowest unemployment rates were seen in Austria (4.9%) and Germany (5%), while Greece and Spain endured eye-wateringly high rates of 25.7% and 23.9% respectively.

There were falls in unemployment across 22 member states in November 2014 compared to the same time last year, with Greece showing the largest decrease (down from 28% to 25.7%). Hungary was another member states to see a large fall in unemployment (as measured between October 2013 and October 2014), down from 9.5% to 7.4%, while Spain’s unemployment rate dropped from 25.8% to 23.9%.

Four member states saw unemployment climb, with the sharpest increases occurring in Italy, which jumped from 12.5% to 13.9%, and Finland, where unemployment was up from 8.3% to 8.9%. Unemployment in Slovenia and Belgium remained the same.

Across the pond, unemployment in the US fell from 7% in November 2013 to 5.8% in November 2014.

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