Employment down in eurozone

June 15, 2012 at 11:34 AM

BRUSSELS, June 15 (UPI) -- Employment in the eurozone fell 0.2 percent in the first quarter, Eurostat said.

The data office for the European Commission said employment, from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the first of 2012, fell most in the construction industry in the 17-member currency region.

Construction jobs declined 1.3 percent in the eurozone and 0.8 percent in the 27-member European Union, Eurostat said.

Eurostat said 222.9 million men and women were employed in the EU in the first quarter, with 146.1 million of those in the eurozone.

From the first quarter of 2011, employment fell 0.5 percent in the eurozone and 0.1 percent in the EU, the data office said.

With statistics unavailable from Ireland and Luxembourg, Eurostat said employment is down sharpest in Greece on a 12-month basis, with 8.7 percent fewer people working n the first quarter compared to the same period of 2011.

Employment rose sharpest in Poland and Romania, with a 2.5 percent gain in each country.

The unemployment rate, released in a separate report, is 11 percent in the eurozone and 10.3 percent in the EU.

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