Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Euro-Zone Unemployment Hits a Record High

Wall Street Journal
November 30, 2011

Germany's unemployment hit a two-decade low as the jobless rate across the euro zone reached a record high, highlighting the deep divisions among European economies but suggesting that Germany can avert recession and help prop up its more troubled neighbors.

Germany's resilience is unlikely to prevent the 17-member euro zone from sliding into a severe downturn, analysts warn. Statistics agency Eurostat reported on Wednesday that unemployment across the euro bloc soared in October to 16.3 million, its highest level since records began in 1995, adding to pressure on the European Central Bank to lower interest rates when it meets next week.

The 10.3% October euro-zone jobless rate—up from 10.2% in September at a fresh euro-era high—masked deep divisions between the prosperous north and fragile south. National unemployment rates in October ranged from 4.1% in Austria to 22.8% in Spain. Using harmonized EU data calculations, Germany's unemployment rate was 5.5% in October, according to Eurostat.


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