Bloomberg News

European Payrolls Shrank in Fourth Quarter on Spain, Portugal

March 15, 2012

European employment decreased in the fourth quarter as declines in hiring by companies in Spain and Portugal offset gains in Germany.

Payrolls in the euro region fell 0.2 percent from the third quarter, when they showed a similar drop, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Labor-cost growth accelerated to 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter from 2.6 percent in the previous three months, a separate report showed.

In Germany (GRGDPPGQ), Europe’s largest economy, employment rose 0.3 percent from the third quarter. In Spain, which is struggling to trim its budget shortfall to meet European Union targets, employment dropped 1 percent, while Portuguese payrolls fell 2.7 percent.

For the euro region as a whole, an estimated 146.4 million people were employed in the fourth quarter, the statistics office said. From a year earlier, fourth-quarter payrolls declined 0.2 percent, it said.

For all of 2011, employment rose 0.2 percent in the euro region and 0.3 percent in the EU, according to today’s report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Henry in Brussels at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at

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