Eurozone: Unemployment Rate at its Lowest Level Since the Early 1980s

Chart of the week

Eurostat has been calculating the unemployment rate for the eurozone since 1998: the figure of 7.0% reached in December 2021 is the lowest in that timespan, but as the graph below shows, the current level actually brings us back to the lowest since 1981.

Using data from the OECD, we have reconstructed an estimate of the unemployment rate for the eurozone countries before 1998. Extremely low at the beginning of the 1970s, it rose over a period of 15 years to reach 10%. Evolving with economic cycles, it reached its peak during the eurozone crisis in 2013, but had never fallen below 7.3%.


The economic momentum remains favorable and should allow the unemployment rate to continue to fall in the coming months. Could this trend, which is also reflected in the growth of unfilled job vacancies, be sustainable and create more structural inflation in the eurozone? We will have to watch the ongoing wage negotiations in the various sectors and countries to confirm this thesis.

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The following opinion was written on February 4, 2022 and is susceptible of changing.

*Sources : Bloomberg, Eurostat and calculation from Lazard Frères Gestion

As of : February 4, 2022

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