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Eurozone jobless rate at record high of 11.7% amid debt crisis

 
 
 
 
 
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Workers marching in downtown Naples, in southeast Italy, during a protest to demand new job opportunities.

Official data show that the unemployment rate in the eurozone hit a new record high of 11.7 percent in October as the 17-nation bloc continues to grapple with a worsening financial crisis.

The Eurostat data agency said on Friday that a total of 18.7 million people were out of work in October, up from 18.49 million in the previous month.

The agency also said that the bloc experienced a jobless rate of 11.7 percent in October — a 0.1 percentage point increase from September.

Meanwhile on the same day, a new report by Italy’s national statistics office, ISTAT, showed that the unemployment rate in October jumped to 11.1 from 10.8 percent in September.

The rate is the highest level recorded since the statistics agency started releasing monthly data in January 2004, the report added.

Seasonally adjusted data showed that the number of jobless people climbed to 2.9 million in October. The figure points to a 3.3 percentage point rise from September.

The unemployment rate among 15 to 24-year-olds also reached a new record high of 36.5 percent in October, up from 35.9 percent the previous month.

Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. 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.

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