Unemployment in the 17 nations that make up the Eurozone monetary union reached a record high in September, hitting 11.6% as 18.5 million people found themselves jobless.
That’s 146,000 more workers who lost their jobs last month, according to official European Union statistics agency Eurostat.
The region, wracked by a severe debt crisis, has watched its unemployment rate surge since early 2008, when joblessness was under 7.5%.
September’s rate, up from the upwardly revised 11.5% level in August and July, is the highest in the data set’s 17-year history. During the same month in 2011, unemployment was at 10.3%.
Spain’s 25.8% jobless rate and Greece’s 25.1% figure were again at the top of the scale for European Union members. Austria and Luxembourg, with 4.4% and 5.2% rates respectively, rounded out the bottom.