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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 October 2007, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
Eurozone jobless marks record low
Volkswagen workers
German exporters have been hiring more staff
Unemployment in the eurozone remained at 6.9% in August, the lowest rate since records began in 1993, according to official EU figures.

Data from Eurostat showed that the seasonally adjusted jobless rate in the 13 countries using the euro was unchanged for the third month running.

Unemployment has gradually eased since peaking at 8.9% at the end of 2004.

The Netherlands had the lowest rate of 3.3%, while unemployment in France was the highest at 8.6%.

German improvement

Germany, the eurozone's largest economy, has seen an improvement in its unemployment rate as strong demand for exports has boosted growth.

"Eurozone unemployment at 6.9% highlights a healthy labour market picture. We have had lots of good news from Germany," said Audrey Childe-Freeman, European economist at CIBC World Markets.

"Even if we are going through a slowdown in global activity, the labour market is a lagging indicator, so we will not see any softening in the labour market for a while," she added.

Last month, the official forecast for eurozone economic growth in 2007 was cut to 2.5% from 2.6%, in part because of the recent turmoil in credit markets.

Figures released at the same time as the jobless data showed that prices at factory gates in the eurozone rose 0.1% month-on-month to a 1.7% on-year gain.

In the 27-nation European Union, unemployment eased to 6.7% in August from 6.8% in July and 7.8% in August 2006.



SEE ALSO
French unemployed at 25-year low
29 Jun 07 |  Business
German jobless rate falls further
27 Sep 07 |  Business
EU cuts 2007 eurozone growth rate
11 Sep 07 |  Business

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