Jobless total in eurozone reaches record level
Unemployment in the 17-country euro currency bloc hit another record in May, official figures showed Monday.
Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, said unemployment rose to 11.1 per cent in May – up from 11 per cent the previous month. That is the highest level since the euro was launched in 1999.
In total, 17.6 million people were out of work in the eurozone in May, 1.8 million higher than a year earlier.
Unemployment has been edging higher for over a year as concerns over the debt crisis and the future of the euro currency itself have weighed on economic activity.
But there are huge disparities across the eurozone.
The labour markets of those countries at the front line of the debt crisis, such as Greece and Spain, are suffering in the wake of stringent austerity measures and recession.
The highest unemployment rate across the eurozone was recorded in Spain, where 24.6 per cent of people were out of work in May.
Even more dramatically, 52.1 per cent of the country’s youth were unemployed.
Some other countries in the eurozone are performing better. Germany’s unemployment rate, for example, stood at only 5.6 per cent.
However, a raft of surveys in recent weeks have pointed to tougher times ahead in Europe’s biggest economy.
Across the wider 27-country European Union, which includes non-euro countries such as Britain, unemployment edged up to 10.3 per cent in May from 10.2 per cent the month before.
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