Jobless At EU Hits A New Record High

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The Eurozone has reached another record high unemployment rate in April 2013 as the single-currency block continues to be mired in its longest recession since its creation 14 years ago.

Data from EU’s statistics agency, Eurostat, revealed seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in the 17-member bloc rose from 12.1% in March to 12.2% in April of this year. The jobless rate for the broader 27-member European Union, nonetheless, remained unchanged at 11%.

The figures translate to 26.588 million men and women, ages 15-74, who do not have work in the EU, 19.375 million of which are from the Eurozone.

Europe’ southern region posted the highest unemployment, including Greece, Spain, Portugal, which, along with Cyprus, also posted the highest increase in the number of jobless.

Cyprus recently nearly faced a breakdown of its financial system after its biggest banks were exposed to the Greece’s sovereign debt, averted shortly by a financial aid from the troika in exchange for the closure of its second largest bank, Laiki, sending ripples across the country.

Data from Eurostat showed Cyprus’ unemployment rate jumped from 11.2% in April last year to 15.6% a year after.

Of the 27 countries, unemployment dropped at nine states, putting the EU’s unemployment rate at a sustained level of 11%. Ireland’s jobless fell from 14.9% to 13.5% in the 12 months to April 2013.

Youth Unemployment

A significant concern for the EU is the enormous rise in unemployment of individuals between ages 15 and 25, which rose from 22.6% both in the Eurozone and the greater EU in April 2012 to 23.5% in the 27-member EU and the 24.4% in the 17-member block.

The situation was referred as a “social crisis” by Italy’s President, Giorgio Napolitano, whose country reported a 40.5% of jobless youth in the same period, as quoted by the BBC.

Eurozone leaders have earlier announced measures to increase employment among the youth whilst economists perceive the condition will only get worse in the short term.

Big firms have been cutting jobs to secure profitability, including UK’s four biggest banks, which, according to Bloomberg, have reduced their workforce by 25% globally.

Only Germany, Europe’s largest economy, kept both unemployment rates low in its youth to a low 7.5% and the general jobless rate at 5.4%.

The outlook for the EU remains gloomy as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicted a recession of the Eurozone by the end of this year, which may further affect labour.

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