Eurozone unemployment jumps to fresh high

People queuing at a Spanish unemployment office The unemployment rate in Spain is the highest in the eurozone

Eurozone unemployment jumped to a fresh high of 18.49 million in September, the EU statistics agency has said.

The number of people out of work rose by 146,000, pushing the unemployment rate up to 11.6%. This compares with 10.3% a year earlier.

The highest unemployment rate was recorded in Spain, where 25.8% of the workforce is out of a job, and the lowest of 4.4% was recorded in Austria.

In Spain and Greece, more than half the workforce aged under 25 has no job.

September unemployment rates

  • Spain: 25.8%
  • Portugal: 15.7%
  • Italy: 10.8%
  • France: 10.8%
  • Germany: 5.4%
  • Eurozone: 11.6%
  • US: 7.8%
  • Japan: 4.2%

Source: Eurostat

The lowest youth unemployment rate of 8% was recorded in Germany, where 5.4% of the overall workforce is out of work.

The eurozone as a whole is struggling to generate the economic growth needed to stimulate employment. Its economy shrank by 0.2% between April and June, with Italy and Spain stuck in recession and France registering no growth for the past three quarters.

The notable exception is the German economy, Europe's biggest, which grew by 0.3% in the second quarter.

Growth there is expected to slow when preliminary figures for eurozone GDP between August and October will be published on 15 November.

Across the wider 27-nation European Union, unemployment rose by 169,000 to 25.75 million people, Eurostat said, with the unemployment rate rising slightly to 10.6%.

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