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Euro zone unemployment unchanged in February

·1-min read
People visit the Pole Emploi (National Agency for Employment) stand at the Young Entrepreneurs fair in Paris

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone unemployment was unchanged in February compared to an upwardly revised reading for January, data showed on Tuesday, as European furlough schemes limited the impact of the second wave of the pandemic in the fourth quarter on jobs.

The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said the jobless rate in the 19 countries sharing the euro was 8.3% in February, unchanged from the revised data for January.

"The unemployment rate now shows a tiny second wave effect as January is now reported to have seen a small tick up in unemployment from 8.2 to 8.3%," said Bert Colijn, euro zone economist at ING bank.

"While the curve has changed a bit, it hardly changes the picture. Given the contraction in activity and the long closures of certain sectors, the second wave labour market impact remains mild," he said.

Eurostat numbers showed the number of people without jobs in the euro zone in February rose to 13.571 from 13.523 in January.

"How the labour market performs when the economic rebound starts remains a big question. A quick bounce back is unlikely given how employment usually recovers from a recession but also because furlough schemes still need to be wound down," he said.

(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski)