Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Eurozone jobless rate jumps to record 11.8%

BRUSSELS: The unemployment rate across the troubled eurozone rose to a record 11.8 percent in November, official data showed on Tuesday.

Up from 11.7 percent in October, the number of people out of work in the 17-nation single currency area, home to some 330 million people, is now nudging 19 million - an increase of more than two million on the dole compared to a year ago.

While the jobless numbers exceeded 26 million for the first time across the full 27-member European Union, which includes Britain and Poland, the gap is growing between the eurozone and its outer EU neighbours, with the EU as a whole recording an unchanged 10.7-percent unemployment rate.

There were more jobless over the past year, according to Eurostat data, in the eurozone - where the number of newly unemployed was 2.015 million, compared to 2.012 million for the EU.

Facing a bust property boom and riddled with bad debt in its banks, Spain recorded the highest unemployment rate of all the European countries - at 26.6 percent, worse even than bailed-out Greece.

Among under-25s, both countries saw unemployment rates hovering around 57 percent.

According to Eurostat figures seasonally-adjusted for comparative purposes, the November unemployment rate in key rival economies was 7.8 percent for the United States and 4.1 percent for Japan.

November marked a 19th successive rise for the eurozone, noted London-based IHS Global Insight analyst Howard Archer, who calculated the cumulative increase since April 2011 as 3.278 million out-of-work.

"The only crumb of comfort was that this was the smallest rise since August, although it did follow a particularly sharp rise of 220,000 in October," Archer said, adding that he expected the jobless rate to "move clearly above 12 percent during 2013."

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