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Friday, August 31, 2012

Eurozone jobless rate stuck at record high in July (but recovery is around the corner - so say the pundits!)

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The unemployment rate across the 17 countries that use the euro remained at a record high of 11.3 percent in July, official figures showed Friday, underscoring the huge task leaders face to restore confidence in the continent's economy.
The European Union's statistical agency, Eurostat, said 88,000 more people were without a job in July — for a total of 18 million — as governments and companies continued to trim payrolls to deal with problems of high debt and weak consumer spending.
The 11.3 percent unemployment rate, which is 1.2 points higher than a year earlier, is the highest level since the euro was formed in 1999.
Joblessness increased in Spain and bailed-out Greece, both countries at the center of the European sovereign debt crisis which has thrown a cloud of doubt over the future of the single euro currency.
In Spain, the jobless figure rose by another 0.2 points to reach 25.1 percent, the highest in the eurozone. For Greece, the latest data available was for May, which saw a 0.5-point increase to 23.1 percent. A year earlier, it was 16.8 percent.

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