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Eurozone unemployment rate hits record 12.2 percent

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People waiting in line at a government employment office in Spain.

Fresh data reveal the eurozone unemployment rate has hit a record high of 12.2 percent in April, with around 19.2 million receiving government financial assistance as recession continues to take its toll on European economies.

The Eurostat data agency said on Friday that a total of 1.6 million people have lost their jobs in the eurozone during the 12 months leading to April.

The jobless rate in the eurozone has soared for the 24th consecutive month.

Around 26.6 million people were out of jobs in the entire European Union in April and 19.3 million in the eurozone.

Greece and Spain remained the hardest hit countries in the April ratings.

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 European Union states to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered massive demonstrations in many European countries.


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