Euro zone unemployment rate steady at 12.1%

More than 19.2 million people out of work in 17 country currency union

A woman look at information boards in the window of the Job Centre Plus in Derbyshire. Figures released today show the EU unemployment rate was 11 per cent in July and 12.1 per cent in the eurozone. Photograph: PA Wire.

A woman look at information boards in the window of the Job Centre Plus in Derbyshire. Figures released today show the EU unemployment rate was 11 per cent in July and 12.1 per cent in the eurozone. Photograph: PA Wire.

Fri, Aug 30, 2013, 11:38

Euro zone unemployment held at a record high of 12.1 per cent in July, Eurostat figures show.

A total of 19.231 million people were reported as unemployed in the 17-nation currency  union last month, 15,000 fewer than in June.

Unempoyment in the 28-member European Union was also flat at 11 per cent, with some 28.654 million people out of work.

Unemployment among young people increased to 24 per cent in the eurozone during the month, and was 23.4 per cent across the EU.

“We have a very bleak outlook for unemployment in the euro area as a whole,” said Anatoli Annenkov, senior economist at Societe Generale SA in London.

“The main headwinds remain high policy uncertainty in the euro area and still-fragmented financial markets, while we also expect several countries to need more fiscal consolidation.”

The bleak jobs report runs counter to a growing body of data that show the eurozone’s economic recovery building momentum after exiting a record-long recession in the second quarter.

Economic confidence in the eurozone increased in August to the highest level since August 2011, the European Commission said today.

In Germany, unemployment unexpectedly rose in August for the first time in three months, according to the the Nuremberg- based Federal Labour Agency, and inflation slowed in a sign that Europe’s biggest economy is cooling after a second-quarter surge.