Eurozone Unemployment Hits Record 11.6%

Greece and Spain see the worst of it

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Oct 31, 2012 6:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – Unemployment in the 17-country eurozone hit a record high of 11.6% in September, official figures showed today, a sign the economy is deteriorating as governments struggle to get a grip on their three-year debt crisis. The rate reported by Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, was up from an upwardly-revised 11.5% in August. Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the eurozone at 25.8%. Greece is not far behind at 25.1%, though its figure is from July.

Both countries, which are at the epicenter of Europe's three-year debt crisis, have youth unemployment above 50%. While the eurozone's unemployment rate has been rising steadily for the past year, the US has seen its equivalent rate fall to 7.8%. The latest US figures are due Friday. The lowest unemployment rate in the eurozone was Austria's 4.4%, while Germany has a jobless rate of only 5.4%.

A man begs for alms in a street, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. Spain's National Statistics Institute says Tuesday that the country's economy contracted 0.3 percent in the third quarter from the previous three month period. Spain is in a double-dip recession and has a 25...
A man begs for alms in a street, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. Spain's National Statistics Institute says Tuesday that the country's economy contracted 0.3 percent in the third...   (Alvaro Barrientos)
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