European Union unemployment reaches new high of 11.8%

European Union unemploymentThe unemployment rate across the eurozone hit a new all-time high of 11.8% in November, official figures have shown. This is a slight rise on 11.7% for the 17-nation region in October. The rate for the European Union as a whole in November was unchanged at 10.7%.

Spain, which is mired in deep recession, again recorded the highest unemployment rate, coming in at 26.6%. More than 26 million people are now unemployed across the EU. For the eurozone, the number of people without work reached 18.8 million, Eurostat, the official European statistics agency said.

Greece had the second-highest unemployment rate in November, at 20%. The youth unemployment rate was 24.4% in the eurozone, and 23.7% in the wider European Union.

More recent figures from Spain’s Labour Ministry suggest that the number of people registered as out of work in the country – a narrower measure than the Eurostat figures – fell in December. The ministry said earlier this month that the number of people registered as unemployed fell in December by 41,023 or 0.8%.

The eurozone and wider European Union economies have struggled in recent years as government measures to reduce sovereign debt levels have impacted on economic growth.

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