3 May 2012

Jobless rate in in eurozone hits record high

6:28 am on 3 May 2012

Unemployment in the eurozone reached a record high in March as spending cuts continue to hit the working population.

Over the 17 eurozone nations the jobless rate rose to 10.9%, the highest since the euro was formed in 1999 the EU's statistics office Eurostat says.

For the eurozone, 17.4 million people are now looking for work and more than 3 million of those are under 25. Italy's 9.8% unemployment rate was a 12-year high.

The jobless rate in Germany unexpectedly rose to 6.8% after months of declines. The number of Germans out of work is now at 2.87 million.

For the whole of the European Union, including countries such as the UK and Denmark, the jobless rate is 10.2%.

The BBC reports the data pushed shares in Europe lower, with stocks in Madrid falling 2.6% to close at the lowest in three years.