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Eurozone unemployment rate remains stable at 12.1%


Eurozone unemployment was stable in November, prompting some analysts to suggest that the region’s problems might be beginning to abate.

Although the jobless number rose 4,000 in the month, that followed a large fall in October and left the total rate at 12.1 per cent for the eighth  consecutive month, according to Eurostat. “The region’s labour market downturn is starting to ease”, said James Howat of Capital economics. “Survey measures of employment intentions suggest that eurozone employment might start expanding again over the coming quarters, albeit at a slow pace.”

In Portugal and Ireland the jobless rate declined to 15.5 per cent and 12.3 per cent respectively. In Spain the rate remained steady at 26.7 per cent, although the numbers classified as out of work actually fell by 24,000 in the month. However, in Italy the jobless rate rose to 12.7 per cent, with 58,000 more people registered out of work. France’s jobs market is also stagnant, with the jobless total rising by 10,000 and the rate steady at 10.8 per cent. The most recent figures for Greece relate to September and showed an unemployment rate of 27.4 per cent.

Youth unemployment in the eurozone was 24.2 per cent, up from 23.9 per cent in November 2012 and leaving 3.6 million young people out of work. Total unemployment was lowest in Austria and Germany, where the jobless rate was 4.8 per cent and 5.2 per cent respectively.