Eurozone unemployment hits record 18 million

31 Aug 12
The number of people out of work in the eurozone reached a record 18 million last month, according to figures published by Eurostat today.

By Nick Mann | 31 August 2012

The number of people out of work in the eurozone reached a record 18 million last month, according to figures published by Eurostat today.

The data from the European Union’s statistical service means that the number of people unemployed in the single currency bloc increased by 88,000 last month and is 2.1 million more than in July 2011.

It is the highest jobless total since Eurostat began compiling records for the 17 members of the single currency in 1995.

In terms of the unemployment rate, 11.3% of people were out of work in the eurozone, the same as in the previous month. A year ago, the eurozone unemployment rate was 10.1%.

For the EU as a whole, the number of people unemployed rose by 43,000 between June and July 2012 to reach 24.3 million. This is 2.1 million more than were out of work a year earlier.

The EU unemployment rate was 10.4% last month, the same as the previous month, and up from 9.6% in July 2011.

Spain continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the EU, with 25.1% of people out of work last month. The lowest unemployment rates were recorded by Austria (4.5%) and the Netherlands (5.3%).

Spain also has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Europe, with 52.9% of people aged under 25 out of work last month. The only country with a higher rate was Greece, with 53.8% in May 2012, the last month it has figures available for.

Youth unemployment in the eurozone last month reached 22.6%, with 3.4 million young people out of work, compared to July 2011, a 204,000 increase from July 2011 when the youth unemployment rate in the single currency bloc was 20.7%.

This upward trend was mirrored in the EU as a whole, where the youth unemployment rate was 22.5%, up from 21.3% a year earlier. In total, 5.5 million young people in the EU are out of work – 182,000 more than a year earlier.

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