Euro-Area Unemployment Hits Record 11.7%

October jobless rate rises amid fiscal crisis and tougher austerity measures.

The euro-area jobless rate rose to a record in October and inflation slowed for a second month in November as the fiscal crisis and tougher austerity measures deepened the region’s economic woes.

Unemployment in the 17-nation single-currency bloc increased to 11.7 percent from 11.6 percent in September, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That’s the highest since the data series started in 1995 and is in line with the median estimate of 34 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Inflation slowed more than forecast to 2.2 percent as energy prices fell, a separate report showed.

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Eurostat’s jobless report showed that 18.7 million people were unemployed in the euro area in October, up 173,000 from the previous month. France’s jobless rate was 10.7 percent, while Austria had the lowest rate at 4.3 percent. The data also showed that youth unemployment is at 23.9 percent, with Spain’s rate more than double that, at 55.9 percent.

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