Business, Economics and Jobs

Euro zone unemployment rate hits record 11.2% in June


Government employees in Madrid demonstrate against the Spanish government's latest austerity measures on July 17, 2012. Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the euro zone.

More than 100,000 people in the euro zone lost their jobs last month, pushing the region’s jobless rate to a fresh record high.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of people unemployed rose by 123,000 to 17.801 million in June as companies reduced staff numbers to contain costs amid the deepening debt crisis.

That pushed the jobless rate to 11.2 percent, which is the highest on record for the 17 countries that use the euro, Bloomberg noted.

The May unemployment rate was revised upwards to 11.2 percent from 11.1 percent.

More from GlobalPost: The coming jobs disaster for Europe

“Companies generally are under serious pressure to keep their labor forces as tight as possible to contain their costs in the face of the current limited demand, strong competition and worrying and uncertain growth outlook,” Howard Archer, chief European economist at IHS Global Insight in London, told Bloomberg.

“There looks to be a very real danger that the euro-zone unemployment rate could reach 12 percent in 2013.”

The Associated Press reported that the increase was the 14th in a row. This means about 2.25 million people have lost their jobs since April 2011.

Spain has the highest jobless rate in the euro zone of 24.8 percent, followed by Greece at 22.5 percent.

Germany’s unemployment rate actually dropped to 5.4 percent in June from the previous month’s 5.5 percent, but economists expect that trend to reverse fairly soon.

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