EU governments have spent enormous sums of money to support the economy over the past year. Yet in terms of a key indicator such as unemployment, the situation has got worse rather than better. This is bound to restrain consumer spending, a key factor for domestic EU chemical demand.
Eurozone unemployment hit 10% in February, and it has remained at this level into July. 16 million people are out of work, and 23 million people in the European Union. Both figures are up around 1 million since July 2009.
As the chart shows, Austria and The Netherlands continue to have the lowest rates, at 3.8% and 4.4%. Spain now has the highest at 20.3%, closely followed by the two Baltic countries, Latvia and Estonia. Youth unemployment remains a particular problem, with 20.2% of under-25s out of work in the EU. Shockingly, 41.5% were unemployed in Spain.