Greece jobless rate at 17.6 pct, Eurostat reports [update]

Greece's jobless rate rose to 17.6 percent in July, according to data published Monday by Eurostat, the European Union?s statistical office in Luxembourg.

That is more than one percent higher than the 16.5 percent figure given by the national statistics agency ELSTAT on October 18.

Greece is second only to Spain. At 22.6 percent, Spain had the highest unemployment rate in the EU, Eurostat said. Austria and the Netherlands had the lowest rates, with 3.9 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.

About 16.2 million people -- roughly the population of the Netherlands -- were unemployed in September in the euro area, up 188,000 from the previous month, the report said.

Meanwhile the inflation rate in the euro area held at 3 percent in October, the same as in the previous month, Eurostat said in an initial estimate Monday. That?s the highest rate since October 2008. [Combined reports]