December 11, 2019

Unemployment in Euro Zone Reached New High in October

Annual inflation in the euro zone was 2.2 percent in November, the European Union’s statistics office, Eurostat, said on Friday, dropping from 2.5 percent in October.

Months of stubborn inflation combined with record unemployment have made life even harder for indebted families struggling through three years of a public debt crisis that has forced governments and companies to drastically cut jobs.

One of the smallest rises in energy price inflation in a year helped bring consumer inflation to near the European Central Bank’s target of 2 percent, according to Eurostat’s first estimate.

But the euro zone economy, which this year sank into its second recession since 2009, may manage only a weak recovery next year and unemployment levels will continue to rise, economists and policymakers say.

“We have not yet emerged from the crisis,” the European Central Bank president, Mario Draghi, said on Friday. “The recovery for most of the euro zone will certainly begin in the second half of 2013,” he told France’s Europe 1 radio.

Unemployment rose to 11.7 percent in October, Eurostat said, up from 11.6 percent in September and a marked increase from the 9.9 percent level a year ago, leaving almost 19 million people out of a job.

Portugal, for instance, shed more than one in 20 public sector jobs in the first nine months of 2012, while employers ranging from car makers to financial groups have announced thousands of job cuts since September.

Still, the overall number masks wide divergences across the 17-nation bloc, with Austrian unemployment running at 4.3 percent of the working population and Spain’s joblessness levels at 26.2 percent, the highest in Europe.

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