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Unemployment hits new highs in recession-hit EU1st of February 2013
After five years of economic crisis and the return of a recession in 2012, unemployment is hitting new peaks not seen for almost 20 years in the EU. That's according to the 2012 edition of the Employment and Social Developments in Europe review.
Household incomes have also declined and and the risk of poverty or exclusion is on the rise, especially in member states in southern and eastern Europe.
A new divide is emerging between countries that seem trapped in a downward spiral of falling output, fast rising unemployment and eroding disposable incomes and those that have so far shown good or at least some resilience.
"2012 has been another very bad year for Europe in terms of unemployment and the deteriorating social situation", commented European commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion László Andor.
"But our analysis shows how appropriate labour market reforms and improvements in the design of welfare systems can increase member states' resilience to economic shocks and facilitate faster exit from the crisis.
"Moreover, it is unlikely that Europe will see much socio-economic improvement in 2013 unless it achieves greater progress also on credibly resolving the euro crisis, finding resources for much needed investment, including in people's skills, employability and social inclusion and making finance work for the real economy."