NEWS

Eurozone unemployment persists, Greece retains highest rate

The eurozone unemployment rate stayed near record highs at 12.0 percent in December, unchanged since October, as the fragile recovery produced few new jobs, official data showed on Friday.

There were about 19.10 million jobless in the eurozone in December, down 129,000 from November 2013 but up 130,000 from December 2012 when the debt crisis was at its peak, the Eurostat statistics agency said.

Eurozone unemployment hit a record 12.1 percent in September but was stable for the whole of the final quarter of 2013.

The agency said its earlier figure for November had now been revised down from 12.1 percent to 12.0 percent.

The highest unemployment rates were in Greece (27.8 percent in October, the latest figures available for that country) and Spain (25.8 percent), it said.

The lowest were in Austria (4.9 percent), Germany (5.1 percent) and Luxembourg (6.2 percent).

Youth unemployment, a major problem for the eurozone, climbed to 3.5 million, down by 77,000 from December 2012.

Unemployment for the 28-member European Union as a whole was down slightly in December at 10.7 percent, compared with 10.8 percent.

The number of jobless across the EU was 26.2 million, which was 162,000 less than the previous month.

Unemployment rates are a lagging indicator tending to go up or down some time after the economic situation has turned down or improved.

[AFP]

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