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Europe – Eurozone unemployment climbs to 12.2%

03 June 2013

Unemployment in Europe continued to climb in April with the joblessness rate hitting a high of 12.2% in the 17 Eurozone countries, a +1% increase from a year ago. This is according to the latest figures by the EU’s statistics office, Eurostat.

Unemployment in all 27 EU states reached 11.0% in April, up from 10.3% in the prior year. Eurostat said unemployment had “risen markedly”.  A total of 26.588 million people are estimated to have been out of work in the month. Compared with April 2012, unemployment rose by 1.673 million in the EU.

Other large economies showed much lower unemployment figures in April with the US posting a rate of 7.5%, down from 7.6% in March, while joblessness remained flat in Japan at 4.1%. Politicians continued to warn that European unemployment remains unacceptably high.

In April, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.9%), Germany (5.4%) and Luxembourg (5.6%), and the highest in Greece (27.0% in February 2013), Spain (26.8%) and Portugal (17.8%).

Year-on-year, the biggest jumps in unemployment were registered in countries such as Cyprus where joblessness rose from 11.2% to 15.6% within the course of a year, followed by Spain (24.4% to 26.8%) and Portugal (15.4% to 17.8%). According to Eurostat the largest falls were noted in in Latvia and Ireland.

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