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Eurozone unemployment rate at its highest level in over a decade

EUROZONE unemployment rose in July to its highest in more than 10 years, official data showed yesterday, but the number of jobless Germans dropped by 1,000 on seasonally-adjusted terms.<br /><br />For the Eurozone as whole, the unemployment rate hit 9.5 per cent, the highest monthly rate since May 1999. In July 2008, the jobless rate was 7.5 per cent.<br /><br />Figures from Eurostat also showed that 15.09m men and women were unemployed in July 2009, an increase of 167,000 on the previous month and a rise of 3.26m on July 2008.<br /><br />As unemployment tends to lag any recovery, economists think it will be some time before any improvement in economic activity feeds through to help the jobs outlook substantially.<br /><br />Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight said: &ldquo;We suspect that economic activity will remain too weak to actually generate net jobs until at least the second half of 2010.&rdquo;<br /><br />The limited increase in German unemployment has been the result of earlier labour market reforms, including, above all, subsidised short-term work.<br /><br />More than 1m jobs fall under these arrangements, of which the first wave is due for expiry in the next few weeks.