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 EU unemployment, at 9.5 per cent, hits record high

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PostSubject: EU unemployment, at 9.5 per cent, hits record high   Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:55 pm

[size=75:gr4w65yh]Sofia echo 10 January 2010

EU unemployment, at 9.5 per cent, hits record high

Unemployment in the European Union was 9.5 per cent in November 2009, two per cent worse than a year earlier, according to EU figures released on January 8 2010.

In the euro area – the 16 states using the common European currency – seasonally-adjusted unemployment hit 10 per cent, two per cent higher than November 2008, EU statistical office Eurostat said.

This is the highest unemployment figure for the EU since the current system of measurement started in January 2000. Euro area unemployment in November 2009 was the highest since August 1998.

The figures mean that in the 27 member states of the EU, close to 23 million people were unemployed;
Eurostat estimated that between October and November, 185 000 people lost their jobs.

Among EU member states, unemployment was worst in Latvia, 22.3 per cent, and Spain, 19.4 per cent. The lowest unemployment was in the Netherlands, 3.9 per cent, and Austria, 5.5 per cent.

In a separate report, Eurostat said that euro area GDP increased by 0.4 per cent and EU27 GDP by 0.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2009.

In the second quarter of 2009, growth rates were -0.1 per cent in the euro area and -0.3 per cent in the EU27 .

In comparison with the same quarter of 2008, seasonally adjusted GDP declined in the third quarter of 2009 by four per cent in the euro area and by 4.3 per cent in the EU27 , after -4.8 per cent and –five per cent, respectively, in the previous quarter.

In the third quarter of 2009, among EU member states for which seasonally adjusted GDP data are available, Lithuania (6.1 per cent) recorded the highest growth rate compared with the previous quarter, followed by Luxembourg (4.2 per cent) and Slovakia (1.6 per cent).

The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area improved further in December 2009 – its ninth consecutive monthly increase.

But it remains at a low level, suggesting that year-on-year growth in industrial production was still negative in November, Eurostat said.

"
The significant increase in the BCI reflects an across-the-board improvement in managers' assessments: the perception of the production trend observed in recent months and order books went up strongly, while the rise in export order books and production expectations were not as pronounced,"
according to Eurostat.
The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) rose once again in December to 92 (+4.1 points) in the EU and to 91.3 (+2.5) in the euro area.

The ESI has improved in both areas for nine consecutive months since its trough in March 2009, though it still remains below its long-term average.

Most EU member states reported a general improvement in sentiment, according to Eurostat.

Among the largest member states, the UK reported a sharp increase (+8.2 points), followed by France (+4.1), while the improvements were less marked in Italy (+2.9), Germany (+1.7) and Spain (+1.2). Sentiment in the Netherlands remained unchanged and decreased slightly in Poland (-0.6).

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EU unemployment, at 9.5 per cent, hits record high

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