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Harry Dempsey

Europe’s labour market suffers record loss of 5m jobs

Martin Arnold in Frankfurt

The European labour market has shrunk by a record amount in the second quarter, when the number of people employed in the EU fell by 2.6 per cent, a reduction of almost 5m people.

The figures, published by Eurostat on Friday, underline how coronavirus has had a dramatic impact on the region’s labour market, after many companies shed large numbers of jobs or placed a significant portion of workers on government-backed furlough schemes.

Eurostat said the loss of jobs was sharper in the eurozone, where the number of employed people dropped 2.8 per cent in the second quarter. It said that the figures for the EU and eurozone were “the sharpest declines observed since [the] time series started in 1995”. Eurostat said last month there

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