Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 12:14 UK

Eurozone unemployment rate rises to 10%

People entering a Spanish job centre
Spain has the highest jobless rate in the eurozone

The unemployment rate across the 16-nation eurozone hit 10% in February, the first time it has reached double figures since the euro was introduced.

The jobless figures, from the Eurostat agency, showed large variations between nations in the eurozone.

The unemployment rate was 19% in Spain, whereas in the Netherlands, the rate was just 4%.

Separate figures showed eurozone inflation hit a 15-month high in March, rising to 1.5% from 0.9% in February.

The inflation figure was higher than expected, with analysts blaming recent rises in energy prices for the increase.

However, inflation still remains below the European Central Bank's inflation target of just below 2%, and analysts do not expect the bank to change its key interest rate from 1% for several months.

Spending hopes

The rise in the unemployment rate is being seen as a further sign that the eurozone's recovery from recession remains slow.

The Eurostat figures showed that 15.749 million people were unemployed in the eurozone during February, up 61,000 from the month before.

Across the 27-nation European Union, the unemployment rate rose to 9.6% in February, from 9.5% in January.

Separate figures from Germany on Wednesday indicated that unemployment there was falling.

Federal Labour Office figures showed the jobless total fell by 31,000 in March to a seasonally adjusted total of 3.382 million, with the unemployment rate dropping to 8% from 8.1%.

"This... brings some hope that the much-needed recovery in German consumer spending could yet materialise," said Jennifer McKeown, senior European economist at Capital Economics.



Print Sponsor


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific