In March 2013, the EU unemployment rate was 10.9%, stable compared with February

Eurostat published its latest figures with regard to the unemployment rate in the euro area and in the EU, which show that the euro area unemployment rate was 12.1% in March 2013, up from 12.0% in February. The EU unemployment rate was 10.9%, stable compared with February. The lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria, Germany and Luxembourg, and the highest in Greece, Spain and Portugal.

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The Commission proposes new rules to improve application of workers' rights to free movement

The European Commission proposed new measures to ensure the better application of EU law on people's right to work in another Member State and so make it easier for people to exercise their rights in practice. The lack of awareness or understanding of the free movement rules is a major source of discrimination based on nationality, according to the Commission.

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MEPs amended the youth guarantee proposal to extend this measure to young people under 30

The Employment and Social Affairs Committee adopted an amended proposal on the EU Youth Employment Initiative which extends this measure to young people under 30. Also, MEPs adopted that regions that had youth unemployment rates above 20% in 2012 would be eligible for Youth Employment Initiative help.

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European Parliament gave green light to open up ground-handling services at major EU airports to more competition

MEPs adopted in plenary session a proposal which aims to open up ground-handling services at major EU airports to more competition by increasing the minimum number of service providers. They added minimum quality standards and safeguard clauses for staff to the proposal.

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Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council agreed to a recommendation establishing youth guarantee schemes

The Council recommendation that aims to ensure that all young people under the age of 25 who lose their job or do not find work after leaving education quickly receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship, the so-called "youth guarantee" schemes, was approved by the Permanent Representatives Committee.

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A Commission report points to a progressive deterioration of social dialogue in the European Union

According to the Industrial Relations in Europe 2012 report published by the European Commission, the relations between social partners have been increasingly strained since the crisis began. Budgetary adjustment measures and reforms implemented by governments have contributed to labour relations which are increasingly conflictual in European industry.

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Employers and labour market intermediaries in the EU might not yet be exploiting the full potential of ICT

Among the conclusions of two new Joint Research Centre (JRC) studies on ICT and employability, there is that more attention should be paid to the role of ICT in this field. According to the JRC, reviewed literature shows that ICT are crucial for employability, as they enable the development of a large set of individual skills, and also allow job seekers to have access to more creative jobs and enhance their career prospects.

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Euro area unemployment rate was 12.0% in February 2013, stable compared with January

Eurostat published its figures that show the euro area unemployment rate was 12.0% in February 2013, stable compared with January. The EU unemployment rate was 10.9%, up from 10.8% in the previous month. The highest unemployment rates were registered in Greece (26.4% in December 2012), Spain (26.3%) and Portugal (17.5%).

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A Commission's study highlights that the employment and social situation in the EU remained critical

The European Commission's latest Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review published by the European Commission shows that the employment and social situation in the EU remained critical in the fourth quarter of 2012 with employment receding overall and unemployment rising further. Among other things, the report highlights that the tightening of public budgets has adversely affected employment both directly through reduced public sector employment and indirectly through lower aggregate macroeconomic demand.

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MEPs call for the development of supplementary pension schemes

The Employment and Social Affairs Committee adopted a resolution which stressed that safeguarding public pensions to ensure decent living standards for all in old age must remain a priority in Europe. MEPs also emphasised that public pensions remain the most important source of income for pensioners.

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€24.2 million to help redundant workers in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Romania, Spain and Sweden

5,271 workers in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Romania, Spain and Sweden will benefit from the just made payments from the European Commission. In particular, the total amount of €24.2 million will help workers in those countries back into employment, following their dismissals in a wide variety of sectors including automotive, motorcycles, mobile phones, metal products, electronic equipment and social work activities.

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The destruction of employment during the crisis has been sharpest in mid-paying jobs

Eurofound’s report finds that the destruction of employment during the crisis has been sharpest in mid-paying jobs, while sparing in large part jobs at either end of the wage distribution. Higher paid jobs in service sectors in particular have proved most resilient.

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