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Europe – 10.5% out of work and rising

01 October 2012

Unemployment in Europe is still rising and remained at a record high in August, as the latest data by the EU’s statistics office (Eurostat) shows on Monday. Over the course of one year, the joblessness rate has jumped from 9.7% to 10.5% in the 27 members states of the EU.

The troubled Eurozone is facing even deeper challenges as unemployment reached 11.4% in August, up from 10.2% a year ago. By comparison, the US saw an unemployment rate of 8.1% in August while Japan’s was nearly half that at 4.1%.

Although Eurostat said today that unemployment was “stable” when compared to the previous month, around 49,000 people have lost their jobs since July. In August, there were around 25.466 million out of work in Europe, according to estimates.

Countries that recorded some of the lowest unemployment rates include Austria (4.5%), Luxembourg (5.2%), the Netherlands (5.3%) and Germany (5.5%). Spain still has the highest joblessness rate at 25.1%, followed by Greece which posted a worrying 24.4% in June 2012.

The figures show that unemployment has risen in 20 countries within a year, falling in only six and remaining stable in the UK.

The largest falls were seen in Eastern European countries such as Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. Southern Europe, on the other hand, saw the biggest increases, particularly Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Spain.

Youth unemployment remains a concern as in August there were around 5.458 million young people aged under 25 without work in the EU, reaching a rate of 22.7%. The lowest youth unemployment rates were posted in Germany (8.1%), the Netherlands (9.4%) and Austria (9.7%), and the highest in Greece (55.4% in June 2012) and Spain (52.9%).

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