The number of registered workers in the Eurozone exceeded in the fourth quarter of 2021 the figure recorded in the same period of 2019, thus recovering for the first time the level of employment prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to data published by Eurostat.
According to the EU office, the number of employed people increased in the fourth quarter by 0.5% in the Eurozone and in the European Union as a whole compared to the previous quarter, when it had grown by 1% and 0.9%, respectively. Compared with the fourth quarter of 2020, employment rose by 2.1% in both regions.
In the last quarter of 2021, the number of workers in the euro area was 161.757 million, compared with 161.268 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, after increasing by more than 780,000 compared with the third quarter of 2021.
In the case of the European Union (EU), the number of workers had already exceeded the pre-pandemic level in the third quarter of last year.
Thus, between October and December 2021, the number of employed in the EU-27 reached 210.96 million, compared to 209.978 million in the third quarter of 2021, in both cases above the 209.863 million in the fourth quarter of 2019.
In the case of Spain, according to Eurostat figures, the number of employed in the fourth quarter of 2021 was 20.373 million, which would imply an advance of 201,000 employed compared to the previous quarter, although it would still be some 150,000 below the 20.523 million posted in the last quarter of 2019.
The Eurozone’s unemployment rate stood at 7% last December, down one tenth of a percentage point from the previous month and 1.2 percentage points below the same month in 2020, which represented the lowest level of unemployment in the euro region in the entire historical series, dating back to April 1998.
The eurozone unemployment rate was thus four tenths below the pre-pandemic level, as in December 2019 and February 2020, unemployment among euro countries was 7.4%.
Likewise, in the European Union as a whole, the unemployment rate fell in December 2021 to 6.4%, down one tenth from November and compared with 7.5% a year earlier. This is the lowest level of unemployment among the EU-27 since March 2020.
The European statistical office estimates that 13.612 million people were unemployed in the EU in December 2021, of which 11.481 million were in the euro area. This represents a monthly decrease of 210,000 and 185,000 people, respectively, while compared to December 2020, the number of jobless people fell by 2.196 million in the EU and by 1.828 million in the euro area.