European job data shows lack of recovery

Jan. 31, 2012 at 11:45 AM
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BRUSSELS, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- The unemployment rate in the eurozone was unchanged in December compared to November, holding at 10.4 percent, the European Union's data office said Tuesday.

The rate is a modest tick higher than the 10 percent rate of December 2010 but shows a clear lack of an economic recovery. The gross domestic product in Europe has trended lower. In Britain and Germany in the fourth quarter, the GDP contracted about 0.2 percent.

In the 17-member region that shares the euro as currency, 16.4 million members of the workforce were unemployed in December, Eurostat said. By contrast, in August 2011, 15.7 million were listed as unemployed.

In the 27-member European Union, the unemployment rate was also unchanged from November to December, holding at 9.9 percent, with 23.8 million members of the workforce out of work.

In the European Union, unemployment stood at 9.5 percent 12 months prior.

The countries with the lowest unemployment rates in the region are Austria at 4.1 percent, the Netherlands at 4.9 percent and Luxembourg at 5.2 percent.

Spain, at 22.9 percent, had the highest unemployment rate. In Greece, the rate stands at 19.2 percent. In Lithuania, the rate is reportedly 15.3 percent, although the most current data comes from the third quarter of 2011.

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