Unemployment levels soar in the Eurozone

andres del risco

The Eurozone unemployment rate has continued to rise sharply, reaching a record breaking high in the first month of 2012.

The total rate for those out of work across that 17 nations that use the Euro, increased to 10.7% in January. This is up from the December figure of 10.6%.

There are now 16.925 million people seeking work across the 17-nation bloc.

In Italy the unemployment rate jumped from 8.9% in December 2011 to 9.2% in January. This is the highest rate since records began, according to the country’s National Institute for Statistics (Istat).

Italy has now plunged into it’s a second recession in four years, as economic output slows considerably.

Spain continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the Euro region, standing at a current figure of 23.3%. Austria has the lowest unemployment rate at just 4%.

Figures from Eurostat found that an estimated 24.325 million men and women in the Eurozone, as a whole, were out of work.

Despite the staggering figures for unemployment, this year’s statistics show a marked improvement compared to those for the previous year according to Eurostat:

“Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in ten Member States, remained unchanged in two and rose in fifteen Member States.”

Latvia saw the largest dip in unemployment levels; falling from 18.2% in the last three months of 2010 to a current figure of 14.7%.

In addition to high unemployment figures, the Eurostat report revealed that inflation in the Euro area increased slightly from 2.6% in January to 2.7% in February.

Transferring money to the Eurozone

If you are looking to invest in the Eurozone, think carefully about how you will be transferring money to the area. Foreign currency exchange rates quoted by banks are almost always worse than the exchange rates available through specialist currency dealers.

So if you are looking to send money overseas, be sure to compare the market before you buy your foreign currency.

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