Euro Zone Unemployment Hits Record High

Euro zone’s unemployment reached the highest level since the data research started in 1995.

According to the EU’s statistics office, the jobless rate in the 17-nation area, which share the euro, rose to 11.1 percent in May from 11 percent in Aprill. 17.561 million people were unemployed in May, an increase of 88,000 from the previous month.

Spain’s unemployment rate remains the highest in the European Union, and reached 24.6 percent in May from 24.3 percent a month earlier.

As the debt crisis worsens, European companies are under pressure to lower costs to protect their earnings. The most recent business and consumer confidence surveys showed a fairly pessimistic picture in the euro zone, suggesting that labour market conditions may deteriorate even further.

Euro zone’ governments are trying to stop the sovereign debt crisis from spreading. At a summit in Brussels EU leaders approved a 120 billion-euro plan to promote growth in the 27-nation bloc, including a capital boost for the European Investment Bank. Some economist say that as part of such measures, the European Central Bank may lower its benchmark interest rate by at least 25 basis points to a record low of 0.75 percent.

Source: Bloomberg

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Kenny Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Kenny Fisher joined OANDA in 2012 as a Currency Analyst. Kenny writes a daily column about current economic and political developments affecting the major currency pairs, with a focus on fundamental analysis. Kenny began his career in forex at Bendix Foreign Exchange in Toronto, where he worked as a Corporate Account Manager for over seven years.