2 Oct 2012

Unemployment in eurozone at new high

12:01 pm on 2 October 2012

Unemployment in the eurozone hit a new high of 18.2 million in August.

The EU statistics agency said the number out of work rose by 34,000, but after the July data was revised up, it meant the unemployment rate remained stable at a record high of 11.4%.

The highest unemployment rate was recorded in Spain, where 25.1% of the workforce is out of a job, the BBC reports.

The lowest, of 4.5%, was recorded in Austria and Germany's rate was 5.5%.

Youth unemployment remains a particular concern, with the rate among under-25s hitting 22.8% across the eurozone, and 52.9% in Spain.

In Greece, the most recent figures recorded in June show that more than 50% of the young workforce has no job.

Families at risk of poverty

Last week, the European Commission warned of the existence of social emergency crisis due to the fall in household income and growing household poverty.

Household incomes had declined dramatically in Greece, where disposable incomes had dropped by 15.7% between 2009 and 2011, the commission said. Households in Ireland were living on 9% less.

Almost a fifth of families are at risk of poverty in Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal.