Page last updated at 09:42 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 10:42 UK

Eurozone jobless continues rising

Job centre in eastern Germany
Eurozone unemployment is at its highest rate for 10 years

The unemployment rate across the 16 countries that use the euro has risen again as the effects of the recession continue to be felt.

August's seasonally adjusted rate rose to 9.6%, compared with 9.5% in the previous month, official figures show.

The number of people without a job in the eurozone is now 15.2 million.

Despite the fact that many eurozone economies are recovering from recession, economists expect unemployment rates to continue rising.

Highest rates

Among the member states, the jobless rate was highest in Spain, with a rate of 18.9%, and Latvia, with a rate of 18.3%.

The lowest rate of 3.5% was recorded in the Netherlands.

Unemployment rose in every country in the zone, with the smallest rises occurring in Belgium and Germany.

The overall rate for the eurozone is now at its highest level since May 1999.

The rate across all 27 members of the European Union was 9.1% - a total of 21.9 million people out of work.

This was the highest level of unemployment across the EU as a whole since 2005.

Further rises

Earlier this month, the European Commission said the eurozone economy was emerging from recession, while Germany and France exited recession in the second quarter of this year.

We will probably see a further increase in the unemployment rate for a number of quarters
Juergen Michels, Citigroup

But the benefits of recovery have yet to filter through to labour markets.

Most economists expect the jobless numbers to keep rising into next year.

"I think this is not the end of the move in unemployment rates," said Juergen Michels at Citigroup.

"With only modest recovery in the economy likely, and the overall level of economic activity below pre-crisis readings for a while... we will probably see a further increase in the unemployment rate for a number of quarters."

He said that Citigroup expected unemployment to peak at the end of next year at 10.9%.

Howard Archer at Global Insight said he expected the jobless numbers to "rise significantly higher, thereby posing a serious threat to growth prospects over both the near and medium term".



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