Business, Economics and Jobs

Euro zone unemployment hits record high


Aman holds a sign reading "Future? I don't know if I have any" during a demonstration against the Portuguese government's austerity policies at the Terreiro do Paco Square in Lisbon on September 29, 2012. Thousands of Portuguese took to the streets of Lisbon today in a new protest against government financial policies expected to get even tougher to meet pledges to creditors.



Euro zone unemployment hit yet another high in January, rising to 11.9 percent, the region's statistics agency said Friday.

Greece still has the highest jobless rate of 27 percent, while Austria has the lowest at 4.9 percent, BBC reported.

in January of last year, according to the Agence France-Presse, the euro zone had an unemployment rate of 10.8 percent. 

Economists expect more bad news for the job market.

"Even if the euro zone economy exits from recession in due course, the labor market is likely to remain in recession for most if not all of this year," Martin van Vliet at ING, a Dutch financial services group, told AFP.

Other analysts agreed.

"It still looks highly probable that the euro zone unemployment rate will move well above 12 percent during 2013 and could very well near 12.5 percent," warned Howard Archer of IHS Global.

Eurostat, the statistics agency, also reported euro zone inflation had fallen to 1.8 percent in February, finally putting it below the European Central Bank's target rate.

Though low inflation is generally considered a positive, it also reflects the level of consumer demand, Al Jazeera English reported.

The Guardian reported that the euro has fallen to its lowest level of 2013 following the news of the unemployment rate.