Eurozone unemployment rate worse than OECD average

Eurozone jobless rate has edged up to its highest point in nearly 20 years, marking a higher level of unemployment than the OECD average.

The unemployment rate for the 17 countries that use the euro hit about 19.22 million people or 12.2 percent in May, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said on Tuesday.

The data marks a notable difference compared to the 48.5 million people or 8.0 percent unemployed reported in the rest of the 34 countries in the OECD.

Overall, 13.8 million people have joined the jobless ranks since July 2008 when the financial crisis began, the OECD said.

Experts believe Italy has largely been behind the increase as the country’s jobless rate hit a new record high of 12.2 percent in May.

Italy’s national statistics agency, Istat, revealed that the jobless rate for those aged between 15 and 24 rose to 40.5 percent in April, the highest since the institute started collecting data on Italy in 1977.

Moreover, the annual inflation reached 1.6 percent in June, up from 1.4 percent in the previous month.

Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. Insolvency now threatens heavily debt-ridden countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Spain.

The worsening debt crisis has forced the EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.

By Press TV


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