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Greek youth unemployment highest in eurozone, latest Eurostat data shows

Greece has the highest youth unemployment rate in the eurozone and the second highest overall jobless rate, according to the figures for August published by Eurostat on Monday.

Unemployment in Greece reached 24.4 percent, only second to Spain with 25.1 percent. The jobless rate among under 25s reached 55.4 percent, just above Spain at 52.9 percent.

Germany's rate was 5.5 percent, with neighbouring Austria recording the lowest at 4.5 percent.

Unemployment across the 17 euro area countries remained at its record high of 11.4 percent in August.

The 18,196,000 headline jobless figure for August released by Eurostat was the highest since records began in 1995 and equated to a massive jump of 2,144,000 in the last 12 months.

Greece's unemployment rate rose from 17.2 percent to 24.4 percent during taht time.

In a statement, Eurostat said the August unemployment rate of 11.4 percent was «stable» compared to July, with just a 34,000 increase.

However, the July figures had been revised up to add 160,000 to the jobless count for the month, giving the same 11.4 percent unemployment rate, a Eurostat spokesman confirmed.

The eurozone is faring far worse than its main international economic rivals. Japan's unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in August according to Eurostat, which uses complicated data modelling to draw comparisons, while the United States was at 8.1 percent.

The eurozone also suffered more relative to the 27-state EU single market, which includes Britain and Poland.

"Compared with August 2011, unemployment rose by 2.170 million in the EU 27 and by 2.144 million in the euro area,» Eurostat said

Europe’s firms are postponing investment decisions and hiring on the back of a looming recession, austerity measures across the region and slowing global growth. The subdued economic outlook has prompted French and German companies including Deutsche Bank AG, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Air France- KLM Group to cut thousands from their payrolls.

“There is simply not enough growth in the euro region to create sufficient jobs and the unemployment rate still has not reached its peak,” Thomas Costerg, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank in London, said before today’s report.

“A worrying trend is that the number of unemployed is now also expanding in core countries like Germany, which had been rather sheltered up to now.”

[Kathimerini & agencies]

ekathimerini.com , Monday October 1, 2012 (13:03)  
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