Eurozone unemployment hits double digits

Jan. 8, 2010 at 9:40 AM

BRUSSELS, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The European Union's statistics office said unemployment in the 16 countries that use the euro as currency rose to 10 percent in November.

Unemployment in Europe ranges from 3.9 percent in the Netherlands to 22.3 percent in Latvia, Eurostat said Friday.

In the euro zone, unemployment was 9.9 percent a month ago and 8 percent a year ago. The reporting agency said 22.8 million workers were unemployed in the 27-nation European Union and 15.7 million were unemployed in the 16-nation euro zone.

All of the EU nations have higher unemployment rates than they did a year ago. Germany, with the lowest increase, has seen joblessness increase from 7.1 percent to 7.6 percent. In Latvia, the rate has almost doubled from 10.2 percent to 22.3 percent.

For those under 25, the unemployment rate is 43.8 percent in Spain.

By comparison, the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday the U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 10 percent in December. In Japan, the unemployment rate is 5.2 percent.

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