Eurozone unemployment hits new record high

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Unemployment in the eurozone has hit a new record of 12%, according to official figures released by Eurtostat on Tuesday. In February alone, more than 33.000 people lost their jobs in the 17 countries of the euro area. Eurostat estimates that more than 26 million people in the EU are without work, of whom 19 million are in the euro zone.

‘Such unacceptably high levels of unemployment are a tragedy for Europe. It signals how serious a crisis some eurozone countries are in. The EU and its member states have to mobilise all instruments to create jobs and to return to sustainable growth’, EU commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Lazslor Andor said in a statement.

Youth unemployment remains the biggest problem across the continent. Over 50% of young people are jobless in Spain and Greece. After such alarming figures, the European Commission urged EU ministers on Tuesday to quickly implement the so-called Youth Guarantee, a tool that aims at ensuring that all youth under 25 receive a quality job, internship or education offer within four months of finishing school or becoming unemployed.

‘Young people in particular need more support to acquire the right skills to increase their chances of getting a job and finding vacancies that exist. This is why the Youth Guarantee agreed by European ministers on February 28 must be put in place urgently.”, EU commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Lazslor Andor said in a statement.

According to the Commission, unemployment in Europe has hit peaks not seen for almost 20 years.

Greece and Spain continue to suffer the highest rates of unemployment, with over 26% in both countries. Germany and Austria are Amongst the best performing countries, with a jobless rate of around 5%.

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