It is a grim consequence of the economic recession that unemployment in Eurozone hit 10%
in December for the first time since the single currency was introduced in 1999, Eurostat revealed today.
This figure stood at only 7.6%
in December last year and now means some 15.8 million
people are now out of work in the 16 countries that use the Euro currency.
But the reading becomes grimmer when including the remaining seven countries that are part of the EU but not users of the single currency, such as the UK, as that figure climbs to 23 million
According to the figures from Eurostat
has the highest jobless rate in the EU at 22.8%
, while Spain
, who currently holds the six-month rotating Presidency of the European Council, continues to have the highest rate in the Eurozone at 19.5%
At the other end of the spectrum, the Netherlands
has the lowest jobless rate at 4%
, followed by Austria
But there was a small consolation included in its report - 'only'
87,000 jobs were lost across the Eurozone during December - the lowest figure since May 2008.
The 10% unemployment rate was shared by the USA
in December, and President Obama in his first State of the Union address made job creation his first priority
. On the back of these figures, the EU would perhaps be best encouraged to do the same...