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June, 2007 Issue Prepared by the UNECE Statistical Division, the UNECE Facts and Figures articles are based on data from the UNECE Statistical Database. For more information contact email@example.com.
Downward trend of unemployment rates continues
14 June 2007
Data on unemployment rates for the first quarter of 2007 confirmed an ongoing downward trend of the number of jobless people across the region over the last few years. The most significant decrease was registered in countries with the highest unemployment rates: Poland and Slovakia . Unemployment in these two countries has been steadily falling since their accession to the EU that, on one hand, helped to boost economic growth and, on the other, encouraged a significant labour migration to other EU countries. In fact, after the EU accession, unemployment rates declined in all new member countries except Hungary and Romania .
The decline in unemployment in western Europe has also been relatively rapid compared with the previous economic cycles, thanks in part to the measures employed to make labour markets more flexible (less protected temporary contracts, reduced tax wedge, revised welfare-related benefits, etc). Overall, however, unemployment in the ECE region is still relatively high, around 7 per cent on average, and it is especially widespread among young people.
Note: The unemployment rate is the share of unemployed persons in the active population.
Pace of integration into global economy varies notably across the ECE emerging economies
8 June 2007
Ever since the centrally planned economic system crumbled in Europe and the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance) was dismantled, most ECE emerging market economies succeeded to better integrate into global economy. The development of their foreign trade over the last 15 years reflects the varied pace of this integration.
In the chart, two groups of countries can be distinguished: one consists of economies with continuous strong trade growth and close ties to western Europe (new EU members) and another group includes economies focused on the Russian Federation . For this group, the breakup of the Soviet Union and terms-of-trade shock prompted a collapse of trade in early nineties; their export and import recovery suffered further setbacks in the aftermath of the Asian (1997) and Russian (1998) crises. Since 2000, export volumes from Russia and other energy exporting countries boomed but lately the momentum weakened. Armenia and Moldova observed strong export growth as well due in part to partner diversification. Nevertheless, the penetration of world markets with processed goods remains problematic for CIS economies.
* Data refer to 19 92-94 for Hungary and Russian Federation .
** Data refer to 2005 only for Kazakhstan and Ukraine .