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Eurozone Jobless Rate At Decade-Low


Eurozone unemployment rate unexpectedly eased in November to its lowest level in over a decade, figures from Eurostat showed on Wednesday.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate eased to 7.9 percent from a revised 8 percent in October. Economists had expected the rate to remain unchanged at October's original rate of 8.1 percent.

The latest jobless rate was the lowest since October 2008, Eurostat said.

Among the big four, the jobless rate remained unchanged in Germany and France, at 3.3 and 8.9, respectively.

Meanwhile, the rate eased in Spain and Italy to 14.7 and 10.5, respectively. Greece continued to log the highest rate at 18.6 percent for September, among euro countries.

The EU28 unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in November, unchanged from October, and the lowest since the series began in January 2000.

In November, the number of unemployed in the EU28 was 16.491 million, of whom 13.040 million were in the euro area. The figure for Eurozone decreased 90,000 from the previous month and by 1.135 million from a year ago.

The youth unemployment rate in the euro area eased to 16.9 percent from 17.8 percent from the same month last year.

"The question remains how long the labour market recovery can go on," ING economist Bert Colijn said. "It could well be that declining unemployment will slow with businesses showing weaker hiring intentions in recent surveys."

Recent indicators suggested a broad-based slowdown in the euro area. Economic sentiment fell to a two-year low in December and underlying inflation and remains low, damping expectations for an interest rate hike from the European Central Bank in the near term.

Private sector growth slowed to its weakest level in four years in December and investor confidence in the euro area deteriorated for a fifth straight month in January to its lowest level in over four years, survey data revealed this month.

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