LUXEMBOURG – Unemployment in the euro zone remains at record high levels, with 18.2 million people out of work in the most recent count released Monday by EU statistics agency Eurostat.
Compared with August 2011, unemployment rose by 2.1 million in the euro zone. The number of people out of work remained stable in the UK, fell in six EU countries, and increased in 20 others.
The largest drops were observed in Estonia (-3.1%), Lithuania (-2.1%) and Latvia (-1.1%) while the highest increases were seen in Greece (a jump of +7.2%), Cyprus (+3.7%), Portugal (+3.2%) and Spain (+3.1%).
Perhaps even more troubling were youth unemployment rates, which rose even in stronger economies.
Youth unemployment rates (Eurostat Aug): Greece 55.4%, Spain 52.9% but high even in lowest EU states: Germany 8.1%, Dutch 9.4%, Austria 9.7%
— Linda Yueh (@lindayueh) October 1, 2012
Among EU member states, the lowest jobless rates were recorded in Austria (4.5%), Luxembourg (5.2%), the Netherlands (5.3%) and Germany (5.5%). The highest rates were recorded in Spain (25.1%) and Greece (24.4% in June 2012).
As a comparison, in August 2012, the unemployment rate in the U.S. was 8.1%, 5.1% in Australia and 4.1% in Japan.