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...   (Alvaro Barrientos)
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