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Eurozone unemployment hits new high

11-01-2012 10:55 BJT

CCTV correspondent Jack Barton

Eurozone unemployment has risen to a record 11.6 percent, according to the EU’s own statistics office.  The figures point to a continued slowdown in the Euro area economy and is raising fears that the bloc as a whole may have already slipped into recession.

In yet another grim economic development for the Eurozone unemployment has now hit a record high of 11.6 percent.

Eighteen and-a-half million people were out of work across the Euro area in September - a gain of 146,000 on the previous month.

Spain, which is still suffering the fallout of a burst property sector bubble, had the highest rate at 25.8 percent.

Ilaria Maselli, from Economic Policy section at the Centre for European Policy Studies, said, “The problem in Spain is that there are so many construction workers who are currently unemployed that even if there was growth in the coming quarters it would be difficult to re-employ them in other sectors. Therefore in the case of Spain it is likely that unemployment will remain high for a while.”

Greece was not far behind with a jobless rate that is also now above 25 percent.

Youth unemployment is more than 50 percent in Greece and Spain, both of which are at the epicenter of Europe's three-year old debt crisis. But other countries like Portugal, Italy and Cyprus are struggling to curb high and rising unemployment.

Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Economist and Head of Europe’s Political Economy program at the European Policy Centre (EPC), said, “Very clearly these economies are in deep trouble, they have a growth problem, they had a growth problem when the crisis hit, and now we have on top of the general growth problems we have the programs, the austerity programs, the reform programs and these are also hitting the economy so they mean lower growth and lower growth means more unemployment."

Unemployment remained relatively low in countries like Germany and Austria, but some core countries like France, with a rate of almost 11 percent, are also clearly suffering.

The latest unemployment figures have heightened expectations that when the initial third quarter economic data is released in the middle of next month it will show that the Eurozone as a whole has slipped into recession. 

Editor:James |Source: CCTV.com

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