Unemployment in the eurozone appears to have stabilized as official figures showed the rate in November steady at a record 12.1 percent for the eighth month running.
Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said Wednesday that 19.24 million people were out of work in the eurozone in November, up 4,000 on the month. Since September's 12.2 percent rate was revised down, 12.1 percent is now the record.
The figures highlight huge disparities across the then 17-country eurozone. It now counts 18 members following Latvia's adoption of Europe's single currency at the start of the year.
While countries like Germany and Austria have unemployment rates around 5 percent, those at the forefront of Europe's debt crisis, such as Greece and Spain, have over one in four of their people out of work.
The situation among the young there is even worse, though Greece appears to be showing some improvement on that front, with 54.8 percent of those aged 15-24 out of work at last count in September, compared with 57.7 percent the previous month.
Policymakers are hoping the eurozone's return to economic growth may get unemployment down. So far, the eurozone's recovery from its longest-ever, though not deepest, recession has been paltry but most economists are predicting a modest pick up this year, with even Greece emerging from a six-year depression that has seen its overall economic output shrink by over a fifth.
A separate survey released Wednesday showed retail sales rose by a stronger-than-expected 1.4 percent during November.
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