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Unemployment holds at 12 percent in eurozone

Feb. 28, 2014 at 9:12 AM   |   Comments

BRUSSELS, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- The unemployment rate in the 18-member eurozone held at 12 percent in January, the data agency Eurostat said Friday.

The unemployment rate held steady for the fourth consecutive month. The rate of unemployment in the larger 28-member European Union was also stable, holding at 10.8 percent, where it has been since October 2013.

A year earlier, the unemployment rate was 12 percent in the eurozone and 11 percent in the EU.

Eurostat said 26.2 million men and women in the EU were unemployed in January, 19.1 million of whom live in the region that shares the euro as currency.

The agency said the number of unemployed people rose by 17,000 in January in both regions. Compared to January 2013, however, the number of unemployed has dropped by 449,000 in the EU and by 67,000 in the eurozone.

The lowest unemployment rate in the EU was Austria's 4.9 percent, followed by Germany at 5 percent and Luxembourg at 6.1 percent.

But 11 out of 28 states in the EU had unemployment rates at 10 percent or higher in January. The highest rate for January is in Spain, where unemployment is at 25.8 percent, but it is also listed at 28 percent in Greece, although the most recent data for Greece is two months old.

Following Spain, unemployment is at 18.8 percent in Croatia, 16.8 percent in Cyprus, 15.3 percent in Portugal, and 13.6 percent in Slovakia.

Unemployment is at 13.1 percent in Bulgaria, 12.9 percent in Italy, 11.9 percent in Ireland, 11.3 percent in Lithuania, 10.9 percent in France and 10.2 percent in Slovenia.

No data is available from January for Estonia, Latvia, Hungary and Britain, but only one of those, Latvia, is likely to have unemployment above 10 percent. The most recent data for Latvia pegs unemployment there at 11.5 percent in December.

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