31 Oct 2009

Jobless numbers rise in EU

5:20 pm on 31 October 2009

Unemployment levels across the 16 countries that use the euro rose to 9.7% in September, the highest rate since January 1999.

The BBC reports this brought the number of people unemployed across the eurozone region to 15.3 million.

The rate across all 27 members of the European Union rose to 9.2%, with 286,000 more people now jobless. This brings the total to 22.12 million.

Spain has the highest eurozone unemployment rate at 19.3%.

Latvia has the EU's highest rate at 19.7%. The lowest rate of 3.6% was recorded in the Netherlands.

Job losses are particularly high among the under-25s.

Eurostat, which released the figures, said the youth unemployment rate in the eurozone had soared to 20.1% in September from 15.7% a year earlier.

In September, the European Commission said the eurozone economy was emerging from recession, while Germany and France exited recession in the second quarter of this year.

But the BBC reports the benefits of recovery are yet to filter through to labour markets.