Eurozone jobless hits new record
Jul 02 2012
Unemployment in the 17 country eurozone hit another record in May as it continued to be buffeted by its debt crisis.
Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said that the jobless rate rose to 11.1% in May from 11% the previous month. That is the highest since the euro was launched in 1999.
Unemployment has been edging higher for over a year now as concerns over the debt crisis have weighed on economic activity. The highest unemployment rate was recorded in Spain, where nearly one in four people are out of work, closely followed by Greece.
In total, 17.6 million people were out of work in the eurozone in May, 1.8 million higher than the year before. Unemployment has been edging higher for over a year as concerns over the debt crisis and the future of the euro currency have weighed on economic activity.
There are huge disparities across the eurozone. The labour markets of countries at the front line of the debt crisis, such as Greece and Spain, are suffering in the wake of stringent austerity measures and recession. The highest unemployment rate across the eurozone was recorded in Spain, where 24.6% of people were out of work in May. Even more dramatically, 52.1% of the country's youth were unemployed.
Other countries in the eurozone are doing better. Germany's unemployment rate, for example, stood at only 5.6%. However, a series of recent surveys have pointed to tougher times ahead in Europe's biggest economy.
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