The level of unemployment in the eurozone remained stable at 8.3% in February, the European statistics agency Eurostat noted, as national plans to keep companies afloat curbed the worst effects of the pandemic.
Eurostat had already registered an unemployment rate of 8.3% in January. Youth unemployment in the eurozone, which soared during the Covid crisis, fell to 17.3%, the agency noted.
This level among the youngest is still higher than a year ago, when a wave of lockdown measures crushed the economy and youth unemployment reached 15.4%.
However, many national governments implemented European Union-backed job guarantee schemes and other programs that have so far averted a long-term catastrophe in the labor market that many had feared.
The unemployment rate in the 27 countries of the European Union followed the same trend, standing at 7.5% in February, stable compared to January, but 1.0 percentage point higher than a year ago.
The Czech Republic and Poland had the lowest unemployment rates in the bloc, just over three percent.
Germany, the EU’s largest economy and an industrial export powerhouse, has an unemployment rate of 4.5%.
In contrast, the highest unemployment rates were recorded in Spain, with 16.1%, Italy (10.2%) and Lithuania (9.6%).