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The latest figures from Eurostat, the EU’s statistics arm, show that unemployment stands at 9.2%, its highest level across the 27 Member States since records began in 2000. Among the countries using the euro the jobless total was even higher at 9.7%, representing the greatest number of people without jobs since the currency was first adopted. Over 22 million men and women are now on the dole, an increase of more than five million since September last year. All countries have experienced a rise in the figure but there are big differences in the amount with Germany’s total having risen from 7.1% to 7.6% while Latvia’s has more than doubled from 8.1% to 19.7% and Estonia’s is now at over three times last year’s figure of 4.1% at 13.3%. By comparison the rate in the USA is 9.8% and in Japan 5.5%. Youth unemployment continues to be at significantly higher levels: 20.2% over the whole EU, ranging from 6.8% in the Netherlands to fully 41.7% in Spain.
According to a recent survey by the European Agency for Health & Safety (OSHA) a majority (57%) of employees in the EU believe that workplace safety has improved over the last five years but an almost equal number (61%) fear that the economic crisis will lead to a deterioration over the next five. Women were slightly more pessimistic on both questions than men and more likely to regard working hours as important when choosing a new job. Health and safety came third in the poll on this, behind salary and job security for both sexes.
Do you think that over the last 5 years health and safety at work in (YOUR COUNTRY) has got …