Euro zone unemployment remained at 10.4 percent in December and in line with expectations. This is the highest rate in the region in thirteen years and brings the number of unemployed to 16.469 million.
However, while unemployment in the euro zone as a whole remains high, there is a lot of discrepancy when unemployment is broken down to individual countries in the region.
Such country is Germany, where the unemployment rate has been moving in the opposite direction. According to data released earlier then the euro zone jobs report on Tuesday, Germany’s unemployment rate fell to a fresh record low of 6.7 percent in January, down from 6.8 percent in December.
Meanwhile Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the euro zone, at 22.9 percent.
Other economies also reported increases. Italy’s unemployment rate jumped to the highest in eight years in December as austerity measures worsened the job market. Data released today show the Italian jobless rate climbed to 8.9 percent, from a revised 8.8 percent in November, lower than the expected rate of 8.7 percent.
In Portugal, a country struggling with rising debt costs, the jobless rate rose to 13.6 percent in December from November’s 13.2 percent.
French unemployment rose to 9.9 percent from 9.8 percent, and in Ireland and Italy, the unemployment rates rose to 14.5 percent and 8.9 percent respectively.