Euro-Area Employment Jumps as Economy Recovers From Pandemic
The euro area’s accelerating economic recovery is encouraging businesses to hire workers, offering a potential boost to consumption in the months ahead.
Employment rose 0.9% in the third quarter, the second straight increase since the 19-nation currency bloc emerged from a double-dip recession, data released Tuesday showed. Even so, about half a million jobs are still missing compared to the pre-pandemic period, and surging Covid-19 infections are raising the risk that wide-ranging new restrictions will be imposed.
Economic growth is already under pressure from a global supply squeeze that’s affecting manufacturing in particular. For now, the bottlenecks are merely set to delay the recovery, and carmakers including Daimler AG have expressed confidence that the worst might already be over.
Gross domestic product increased 2.2% in the three months through September, in line with an earlier preliminary estimate. Consumer spending was a bright spot as people returned to shops, restaurants and cultural venues, and tourism picked up.
The European Central Bank predicts the economy will exceed its pre-pandemic size around the end of the year, though the outlook is becoming more uncertain.
Austria, grappling with the euro area’s second-worst Covid-19 resurgence after Slovenia, placed unvaccinated people under lockdown this week. The Netherlands closed bars, restaurants and non-essential shops, while also limiting private gatherings. Germany is considering more stringent curbs as well.
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