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Eurozone unemployment hits previous high of 12.1% in May

 
 
 
 
 
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A homeless sleeps at the entrance of a bank in Milan, Italy on June 27, 2013.

Recent figures released by the Eurostat data agency show the eurozone unemployment rate has hit its previous record-high of 12.1 percent in May.

According to the data, the jobless rate rose 0.1 percentage in May after the previous months’ figures were amended down from 12.2 percent to 12.0 percent.

Approximately 19.22 million people in the 17-nation eurozone were unemployed in May, the EU’s statistics office said.

Experts have noted that Italy was largely behind the increase as the country’s jobless rate hit a new record high of 12.2 percent in May.

Moreover, the annual inflation picked up to 1.6 percent in June, up from 1.4 percent the previous month.

The increase is below the European Central Bank’s target of keeping price increases under 2 percent.

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 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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