If the European economy has improved at all, it has not shown up in unemployment numbers among the region's weakest nations.
According to Eurostat, within the region:
Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.8%), Germany (5.3%) and Luxembourg (5.7%), and the highest in Greece (27.6% in May 2013) and Spain (26.3%).
Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in seventeen Member States and fell in eleven. The highest increases were registered in Cyprus (12.2% to 17.3%), Greece (23.8% to 27.6% between May 2012 and May 2013), Slovenia (9.3% to 11.2%) and the Netherlands (5.3% to 7.0%). The largest decreases were observed in Latvia (15.7% to 11.5% between the second quarters of 2012 and 2013) and Estonia (10.1% to 7.9% between June 2012 and June 2013).
The figures for young people were absolutely brutal:
In July 2013, 5.560 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU28, of whom 3.500 million were in the euro area. Compared with July 2012, youth unemployment decreased by 53 000 in the EU28 and by 16 000 in the euro area. In July 2013, the youth unemployment rate was 23.4% in the EU28 and 24.0% in the euro area, compared with 22.9% and 23.3% respectively in July 2012. In July 2013, the lowest rates were observed in Germany (7.7%), Austria (9.2%) and Malta (10.6%), and the highest in Greece (62.9% in May 2013), Spain (56.1%) and Croatia (55.4% in the second quarter of 2013).
Overall, the region's jobs situation was stagnant:
The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 12.1% in July 2013, stable compared with June.The EU28 unemployment rate was 11.0%, also stable compared with June. In both zones, rates have risen compared with July 2012, when they were 11.5% and 10.5% respectively.