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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Eurozone unemployment hits another record high


LONDON - (AP) -- Another month, another record unemployment rate for the economy of the 17 European Union countries that use the euro.

Figures released Friday by Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, showed that the recession in the eurozone pushed unemployment up in the currency bloc to 11.7 percent in October, the highest level since the introduction of the euro in 1999.

The rise from September's previous record of 11.6 percent was anticipated after the eurozone returned to recession in the third quarter, commonly defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

While the eurozone's unemployment has been inching upward since June 2011, the equivalent rate in the U.S. has fallen to below 8 percent as the world's largest economy continues its recovery from recession. In October, it stood at 7.9 percent.

Eurostat found that 18.7 million people were out of work across the eurozone, an increase of 173,000 on the previous month and 2.2 million higher than the year before. The wider 27-nation EU that includes non-euro countries such as Britain and Poland had an unemployment rate of 10.7 percent in October and a total of 25.9 million out of work.

"The level of unemployment in Europe remains unacceptably high," said Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the European Commission, the EU's executive arm.

Spain and Greece have the region's highest unemployment rates -- both over 25 percent, with youth unemployment levels heading toward 60 percent, a figure that could have a long-term economic and political impact. [Read more..]

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