Joblessness up to Eurozone-era high as economies keep sliding

Tim Wallace
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UNEMPLOYMENT rose to a record high in February, official data revealed yesterday, as the Eurozone economies continued to slow.

Joblessness rose to a euro-era high of 10.8 per cent, up from 10.7 per cent in January and 10 per cent in February 2011.

The tenth consecutive monthly rise represents the loss of around 202,000 jobs. However it was not evenly spread across the Eurozone, with unemployment rates ranging from 4.2 per cent in Austria to 23.6 per cent in Spain.

Unemployment fell in eight states over the year, but rose in 18.

“Survey measures of hiring point to a downturn to come,” said Jennifer McKeown from Capital Economics. “And with inflation remaining stubbornly high throughout the Eurozone, there is little hope of a consumer recovery.”

Youth unemployment broke to 50 per cent mark in Spain, rising from 49.9 to 50.5 per cent in the month for those aged under 25.

The latest available data also shows 50.4 per cent of young Greeks were out of work in December.