Unemployment Hits Record High In Euro Zone

According to official Eurostat numbers published Friday, unemployment among those in the euro zone – an estimated 17 countries – continues to climb, hitting yet another record high due in part to a prolonged recession stemming over six quarters, and an absence of a resolution by regional policy makers.

The jobless rate, for those who utilize the euro, has risen to 12.2 percent, increasing from 12.1 percent in the previous month – equating to roughly 19.4 million people without jobs, reports the New York Times. Concerned analysts foresee the potential for 20 million to be unemployed by the end of the year if the current trend continues.

Regardless, these same analysts do not anticipate the European Central Bank to cut interest rates again or attempt to stimulate growth in response. Instead, inflation in the euro zone has risen to 1.4 percent, from 1.2 – the rate of increase attributed to the rising cost of provisions, alcohol, and tobacco.

The youth numbers – those job-seekers 16 to 25 – are especially alarming, as nearly a quarter of them are unemployed. In Greece, 62.5 percent of youths were jobless in April; 56.4 percent in Spain; Italy up over 40 percent. Germany remained around 7.5 percent.

Cyprus reflected the sharpest change in unemployment rates among euro zone countries, which saw its jobless rate rise to 15.6 percent from 14.5 percent – becoming the fifth distressed country to seek financial assistance in March.

In contrast, the jobs market in the US has started to improve, with the unemployment rate falling to 7.5 percent in April. Overall, these stagnant euro zone numbers could translate to a slower or near non-existent rate of sustainable growth in the future.

European Union leaders should make a decision soon regarding whether or not they will allowed these countries more time to trim their governmental budgets.

Have you been unemployed? If so, how long did it take before you were able to find work? Is the work within your field of degree or interest, or were you forced to take something as a simple means to making a living?

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