Eurozone unemployment rate reaches ten percent

Friday, January 29, 2010

The unemployment rate in the Eurozone, or the sixteen countries in which the euro is used, reached ten percent last December, for the first time since the euro was introduced in 1999.

A ten-percent jobless rate was initially recorded in November, although that was later revised down to 9.9%. According to Eurostat, 15.8 million people now are without jobs in the Eurozone. For all 27 countries in the European Union, 23 million people collectively are unemployed.

Eurostat reports that 87,000 jobs were lost throughout the eurozone in December, the smallest loss since May.

Latvia had the highest jobless rate for the EU, at 22.8%, whilst Spain has the highest for the eurozone, at 19.5%. The two countries with the lowest unemployment rates were the Netherlands and Austria, with jobless figures of 4% and 5.4%, respectively.

An analyst for IHS Global Insight, Howard Archer, commented on the figures. "Although the rise in eurozone unemployment has slowed in recent months, it still seems poised to trend higher during much, if not all, of 2010," he noted.