Eurozone reels as jobless count surges to 18.2m

 
Julian Harris
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DEVASTATING unemployment data cast a shadow over the Eurozone yesterday, while separate manufacturing figures also pointed towards the region’s economic decline.

The number of unemployed people in the single currency area hit 18.19m in August, an increase of 2.14m compared to 12 months earlier.

And factories throughout the euro area recorded their 14th straight month of contraction in September, according to a leading business survey released yesterday.

The combination of the two sets of data “adds to the evidence that the region is in a deepening and broadening recession,” commented Jennifer McKeown of Capital Economics.

While unemployment stuck at 11.4 per cent in August in the single currency area as a whole, it is particularly high in crisis-struck Spain (25.1 per cent) and Greece (24.4 per cent).

Youth unemployment in Greece stood at 55.4 per cent as of June, while Spain’s rate is 52.9 per cent.

A European Commission spokesman said the continent is at risk of witnessing a “lost generation, which would be an economic and social disaster”.

Meanwhile, Markit’s latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for Eurozone manufacturing sector came in at 46.1, up from 45.1 in August yet still well below the no change mark of 50. In France the PMI crashed to 42.7, down from 46 in August.

• In the US, Markit’s PMI for manufacturing hit 51.1, down from 51.5, its slowest rate in three years. Yet a separate survey by the Institute for Supply Management said factories grew for the first time in three months.