Unemployment in the EU regions ranged from 2% to 31%. Greece and Spain are still struggling. According to the Bible, “all work is worthy and full of meaning”, Jaume Llenas, General Secretary of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, says.
The unemployment rate is an important indicator with both social and economic dimensions.
Rising unemployment results in a loss of income for individuals, increased pressure with respect to government spending on social benefits and a reduction in tax revenue.
Socially, individuals and families are heavily affected by unemployment, and that brings consequences in the everyday life and the well-being of the society.
UNEMPLOYMENT IN EUROPE FELL IN 2016
The data on regional unemployment are compiled on the basis of the EU Labour Force Survey, and published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
The latest study , published on April 27, showed that more than 80% of 275 EU regions for which data are available saw their unemployment rate fall in 2016 compared with 2015, and around 60% recorded a decrease of at least 0.5 percentage points.
Among them, 60 had an unemployment rate of 4.3% or less in 2016, half the average of the EU (8.6%). Most of them are in Germany (24) , the UK (18) and the Czech Republic (6).
In contrast, 32 regions had a rate of at least 17.2%, double that of the EU: twelve out of the thirteen regions in Greece, ten in Spain, and five each in Italy and France.
BIG DIFFERENCES IN REGIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT
However, regional unemployment rates continued to vary widely across the EU regions, with the lowest rates recorded in the German city of Niederbayern (2.1%) and Praha (2.2%) in the Czech Republic.
At the opposite end of the scale, the highest unemployment rates were registered in Dytiki Makedonia (31.3%) in Greece, and Melilla (30.8%) in Spain.
THE WORK FROM A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE
The Bible has much to say about the work, how to deal with others in the workplace, the missionary opportunities that it brings, and the ways to connect the work with the call to follow Jesus.
In a series of articles published in the Spanish online newspaper Protestante Digital, the General Secretary of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, Jaume Llenas, wrote about the work from a biblical perspective.
According to Llenas, “work is a way of anticipating the Kingdom of God and collaborating with its eternal purposes, purposes that are invisible immediately.”
“ALL WORK IS WORTHY”
“Through our work we try to live now, according to the values of a community that is to come. The importance of my work is that it goes beyond making money, even though this is important”, he added.
Therefore, the General Secretary stated, “all work is worthy and full of meaning, and there is no hierarchy of tasks in the economy of God, because all work done faithfully entails difficulty. It is not harder for me to do my job than for someone else, not less. There are no simple tasks when done in a Christian way.”
“OUR WORK IS A MISSIONARY OPORTUNITY”
“We need to find ways to connect our work with our call to follow Jesus. As Colossians 1:10 says, as we learn more and more how God works, we will learn how to do our work”, Llenas said.
Additionally, “our work is a missionary opportunity to focus on people, build relationships, bring to light how Christ has changed our lives in the form of ethical decisions, and to be generous.”
“The work ordered by God is an act of balance and should not be neither degraded nor idolized. Our task is to live for the glory of God, that is the goal of our lives, as we read in Psalm 127: If the Lord does not build the house, the builders labor in vain”, Jaume Llenas concluded.
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