Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

China trade deal: Is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Call it a caretaker government'

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Pornography without borders is key benefit of EU, says French MEP

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Google Glass sale a test of consumer interest

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Back to the future

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Over 70 killed in Nigeria bus station terror attack

Read more

ENCORE!

“Booty Looting” memory and mediums

Read more

  • Rescue effort under way as ferry sinks off S. Korean coast

    Read more

  • Putin says Ukraine 'on brink of war' as Kiev evicts separatists

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • Berlusconi sentenced to community service for tax fraud

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

  • US to mark one year since Boston Marathon bombing

    Read more

  • India's Supreme Court establishes third gender category

    Read more

  • Bluefin-21 'mini-sub' redeploys for Malaysian jet

    Read more

  • Paris hotel that hosted Holocaust survivors shuts for renovation

    Read more

  • French police begin mass DNA test in hunt for school rapist

    Read more

  • Guardian, Washington Post win Pulitzers for NSA revelations

    Read more

  • France looks to lift ailing economy with business-friendly diplomacy

    Read more

Europe

Eurozone unemployment reaches all-time high

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-06-01

Unemployment across the beleaguered eurozone hit a record high of 11 percent in April, according to gloomy new figures released on Friday. The data revealed more than 17.4 million people were jobless across the 17 nations sharing the euro currency.

AP - Unemployment across the 17 countries that use the euro stuck at 11 percent in April – the highest level since the single currency was introduced back in 1999, piling further pressure on the region’s leaders to switch from austerity to focus on stimulating growth.

The eurozone’s stagnant economy left 17.4 million people out of a population of some 330 million without a job, with rates continuing to climb in struggling Spain, Portugal and Greece. The EU’s Eurostat office said 110,000 unemployed were added in April alone.

In recession-hit Spain, unemployment spiked to 24.3 percent, the worst rate in the EU. It was up 0.2 points since March, and 3.6 percentage points compared to last year. Youth unemployment ballooned to a 51.5 percent, up from 45 percent last year.

Friday’s seasonally adjusted figures follow on from last week’s European Union summit, where leaders including the new socialist President of France Francois Hollande called for measures to boost growth and employment to offset the impact of stringent austerity policies.

Experts argue that targeted measures could help get people, especially youngsters, off the unemployment lines.

Austerity has been the main prescription across Europe for dealing with a debt crisis that’s afflicted the continent for nearly three years and has raised the specter of the breakup of the single currency. Three countries – Greece, Ireland and Portugal – have already required bailouts because of unsustainable levels of debt.

Investors are concerned that Spain, which is the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy and is currently struggling to contain a banking crisis in the middle of a recession, may soon be joining them in seeking international assistance.

Financially shaky countries such as Spain are facing rapidly rising borrowing costs on bond markets, a sign that investors are nervous about the size of their debts.

Austerity was intended to address this nervousness by reducing a government’s borrowing needs, but there has been a side effect: Economies are shrinking across the eurozone as governments cut spending and raise taxes to reduce deficits.

This has prompted economists and politicians to urge European policymakers to dial back on short-term budget-cutting and focus on stimulating long-term growth.

Greece is the bloc’s second worst performer with unemployment creeping further upwards to 21.7 percent in February, the last month for which figures are available. It compares to a rate of 16.1 percent a year earlier.

The economy in Greece has been contracting far more than expected late last year, taking employment with it in a downward spiral.

Athens is facing June 17 elections where jobs are a key issue together with the fundamental question of whether the country wants to stay in the currency zone.

Like Greece, Ireland has been forced to rely on an international bailout but its economy returned to growth last year. It is beginning to show in the statistics since overall unemployment fell to 14.2 percent, when it stood at 14.7 only in December.

Unemployment was lowest in Austria, whose economy has been outperforming the European Unuon average, with 3.9 percent, followed by Luxembourg and the Netherlands with 5.2 percent.

 

Date created : 2012-06-01

  • ECONOMY

    Leaders ‘committed' to keeping Greece in eurozone

    Read more

  • DIPLOMACY

    Hollande turns tide against Merkel's austerity

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)