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Europe – Unemployment reaches record high

30 November 2012

The unemployment rate in the EU reached a record high last month at 10.7%, up from 10.6% in September. In the Eurozone, the jobs market was worse off with unemployment rising even further to 11.7% in October from 11.6% in the previous month.

By comparison, other major economies such as the US saw an unemployment rate of 7.9% in October and Japan posted a rate of 4.2% in September.

“The economic and employment outlook is bleak and has worsened in recent months and is not expected to improve in 2013, although a more positive outlook for the labour markets is still expected in 2014. The EU is currently the only major region in the world where unemployment is still rising,” the European Commission said in a new employment report on Thursday.

New data by the EU’s statistics office today shows that in October 25.9 million were out of work in the 27 EU member states, 18.7 million of which were found in the euro area.

Unemployment has risen by 2.16 million in the EU since last year and increased in 16 countries, falling in only nine. Southern Europe showed the highest increases with joblessness rising steeply over the course of one year in Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Portugal. The largest falls were seen in the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Overall, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.3%), Luxembourg (5.1%), Germany (5.4%) and the Netherlands (5.5%), and the highest in Spain (26.2%) and Greece (25.4% in August 2012).

In October, youth unemployment remained worryingly high at 23.4% from 21.9% last year. 

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