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Unemployment rising as jobs and GDP both fall in EU

The employment and social situation in the EU remained critical in the fourth quarter of 2012 with employment receding overall and unemployment rising further, while households' financial situation remained serious according to the European Commission's latest Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review. The adverse effects of public budget cuts and tax increases on employment and living standards are increasingly apparent in certain Member States. The Review also notes that net immigration from outside the EU has slowed down and that the crisis has adversely affected fertility.

Unemployment rose further in January 2013, to 26.2 million in the EU (19 million in the euro area), or 10.8% of the economically active population (11.9 % in the euro area). The unemployment rate gap between the south/periphery and the north of the euro area reached an unprecedented 10 percentage points in 2012.

In the EU, GDP shrank by 0.5% during the fourth quarter of 2012, the largest contraction since early 2009. Overall employment in the EU fell by 0.4% in 2012, with positive developments only noticeable in part-time work. In the fourth quarter of 2012 alone, it fell by 0.2% compared to the previous quarter