European Unemployment at Record 11.3%

Ranks of jobless swell to 18M
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2012 9:36 AM CDT
European Unemployment at Record 11.3%
In this June 7, 2012 file photo, a homeless person sleeps in the doorway of a bank in Madrid.   (Paul White)

You think America's 8.3% unemployment rate is bad? Try living in the eurozone. The 17-country bloc saw 88,000 more people join the ranks of the jobless in July, meaning its unemployment rate held steady at its record high of 11.3% and bringing the total number of unemployed to 18 million, the AP reports. The numbers were especially eye-popping in Spain and Greece, which saw their unemployment rates swell to 25.1% and 23.1%, respectively. For reference, last year Greece's figure was 16.8%.

The high unemployment is caused both by punishing government spending cuts, which have slashed public sector jobs, and by uncertainty in the financial markets, which has discouraged hiring. And it's probably going to get worse. Job measures are "pointing to further falls in employment," one economist says. "The eurozone unemployment rate looks set to rise further." (More eurozone stories.)

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