According to the European Commission, the unemployment rate climbed to a new high in January 2012, reaching 10.1% in the EU. Nearly 24.3 million people are without work, with 200,000 names added to the unemployment list each month for the past six months.
This means that more than 1.6 million people have lost their jobs since March 2011. Disparities on the job market nonetheless exist from one country to the next. Six Member States (Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Finland, Lithuania and Latvia) have seen a slight drop in their unemployment rate. However, the trend is quite the opposite in the largest EU countries, with 173,000 more unemployed workers in Italy and 126,000 more in Spain, followed by France with 73,000 more unemployed workers, the United Kingdom with 26,000 more and Germany with 12,000 more.
Just like in 2009, unemployment affects men more than women: men represent 61% of the 1.6 million unemployed workers in the EU, and women 39%. Youth unemployment continues to grow at very disturbing rates, reaching a record 22.4% in January 2012. Approximately 20% of young people in two thirds of EU countries find themselves jobless, with this percentage reaching 50% in Greece and Spain.