Eurozone jobless rate remains at 12.1 percent
Euro-area unemployment held at a record in November as policymakers struggled to bolster the recovery from the currency bloc’s longest recession. The jobless rate remained at 12.1 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said yesterday. That’s in line with the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 26 economists. After several revisions of previous months’ data, unemployment has been stable at that level since April, Eurostat said. While unemployment remains resistant to policymakers’ attempts to boost the economy, positive signs are gradually accumulating. November retail sales increased 1.4 percent from the previous month, beating analysts’ estimates, and 1.6 percent year-on-year, Eurostat said yesterday in a separate report. Europe’s fragile labor market remains a major concern for EU leaders as they try to foster the recovery. Last month, they acknowledged that the jobless rate remains “unacceptably high,” especially among young people, 18 months after they unveiled a 120-billion-euro package to jump-start the economy and create jobs.Unemployment varied widely across the euro area in November, from a low of 4.8 percent in Austria to a high of 26.7 percent in Spain. Greece, which last reported in September, had a jobless rate of 27.4 percent.