No change for Eurozone unemployment

(eurostat)

Eurozone unemployment remained unchanged in November at 12.1 per cent. The fall to 12.1 per cent in October marked the first decline since February 2011.

Around 19m people are currently unemployed in the euro area.

Unemployment was highest in Greece, where is was 27.4 per cent in September, with Spain seeing 26.7 per cent.
Austria had the lowest rate at 4.8 per cent in November, according to statistics agency eurostat.

The news follows sobering data from Italy this morning which showed its unemployment rate rose to 12.7 per cent in November - yet another sign that economic recovery is floundering in several areas of the Eurozone.

Youth unemployment (people aged 15 to 24) rose to a staggering 41.6 per cent.

(eurostat)

Howard Archer, IHS:

Evidence is mounting that Eurozone labour markets have stabilized overall in reaction to significantly improved business confidence and a return to growth albeit very modest.

[But] unemployment remains worryingly high across the Eurozone and it seems unlikely to come down markedly any time soon.

Persistently high unemployment will likely constrain the upside for consumer spending across the Eurozone along with widespread low earnings growth.

We believe the ECB will most probably enact a Long-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) in the next few months, which may very well be tailored specifically towards bank lending.