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Eurozone unemployment rate at record 11.4% in August

October 01, 2012|By Jim Puzzanghera
  • Workers at the ArcelorMittal steel production plant in Florange, France, listen to the speeches by union leaders. The company is set to announce the closure of two idle blast furnaces amid spiraling unemployment.
Workers at the ArcelorMittal steel production plant in Florange, France,… (Jean-Christophe Verhaegen…)

WASHINGTON -- The unemployment rate in the economically struggling Eurozone hit a record 11.4% in August, the European Union said Monday.

The unemployment rates for June and July also were revised up to 11.4%, meaning the 17-nation Eurozone has seen its jobless situation at that level for three straight months, according to Eurostat, the European Union's statistical office.

Before the adjustments, Eurostat had said unemployment was at 11.2% in June and 11.3% in July, both record highs. The combined unemployment rate for the Eurozone nations dates to 1995.

Unemployment for the Eurozone in August was up from 10.2% a year earlier.

Amid rising concern about the region's economy, the European Central Bank last month unveiled a plan to buy bonds of financially troubled nations.

The highest unemployment rates in August were in Spain and Greece, whose debt problems have fueled a European crisis that is dragging down the world economy. About a quarter of residents in those two countries -- 25.1% in Spain and 24.4% in Greece -- were unemployed in August.

The lowest rates were 4.5% in Austria, 5.2% in Luxembourg, 5.3% in the Netherlands and 5.5% in Germany.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 8.1% in August. The government is set to release the September rate on Friday.

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