The Euro Area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate increased to 8.1 percent in August 2020 from an upwardly revised 8 percent in the previous month and matching market expectations. It was the highest jobless rate since July 2018, as the coronavirus pandemic hit the labour market. The number of unemployed persons rose by 251 thousand to 13.188 million, despite temporary government job-support programs and the relaxation of some containment measures. Among the bloc’s largest economies, the highest jobless rates were recorded in Spain (16.2 percent), Italy (9.7 percent), and France (7.5 percent) while the lowest was observed in Germany (4.4 percent). The youth unemployment rate, measuring job seekers aged 15 to 24, went up to 18.1 percent from 17.8 percent in July. Considering the European Union as a whole, the jobless rate was at 7.4 percent in July, up from 7.3 percent in the prior month.
The economic sentiment indicator in the Euro Area rose by 3.6 points from the previous month to 91.1 in September 2020, moving further away from an 11-year low hit in April but remaining well below pre-pandemic levels. By sector, morale improved among service providers (-11.1 vs -17.2 in August), retailers (-8.7 vs -10.5), manufacturers (-11.1 vs -12.8), constructors (-9.6 vs -11.8), and consumers (-13.9 vs -14.7).