EU Economy Grew In July, But Unemployment Still High

EU economy grew 0.9 percent in second quarter; jobless rate holds at 8 percent.

Although the European economy in July grew 0.9 percent in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter, unemployment in the European Union (EU) remained steady at 8 percent, according to EU statistics released Friday.

The jobless rate, down from 8.7 percent in July 2005, was the same as the June figure.

Europe's unemployment rate is registering much higher than that of its trading partners, with the U.S. showing an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent July and Japan coming in at 4.1 percent.

On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department reported the unemployment rate declined to 4.7 percent in August.

the EU's highest jobless rate in July was Poland with 15 percent, followed by Slovakia with 14 percent.

Other new EU members saw major falls in unemployment over the year with Estonia's rate falling to 4.2 percent from 7.6 percent since July 2005, and Lithuania decline from 8 percent to 5.5 percent.

Over the year, the EU economy grew by 2.8 percent from the second quarter of 2005.

In the 12-nation euro currency zone, second quarter growth was also 0.9 percent, representing a 2.6 percent rise from a year earlier.