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Eurozone Unemployment Rate Lowest Since 2008

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The euro area unemployment rate declined to the lowest in more than a decade in October despite subdued economic growth.

Data from Eurostat showed that the unemployment rate in the currency bloc fell to 7.5 percent in October, as expected, from 7.6 percent in September. This was the lowest rate since July 2008.

The number of unemployed decreased by 31,000 from September to 12.334 million in October. On a yearly basis, unemployment declined 761,000.

The unemployment rate among youth aged below 25, fell marginally to 15.6 percent from 15.7 percent in September.

In October, unemployment rate declined in Italy to 9.7 percent from 9.9 percent in September and in France to 8.5 percent from 8.6 percent. Spain's rate held steady at a double-digit 14.2 percent and Germany's rate remained unchanged at 3.1 percent.

With employment growth slowing and slack in the labor market increasing, wage growth seems likely to level off or slow this year, Jack Allen-Reynolds, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

Elsewhere, Germany's Federal Employment Agency reported a notable decline in unemployment in November. The number of people out of work declined unexpectedly by a seasonally adjusted 16,000 after rising 5,000 a month ago. Economists had forecast an increase of 6,000.

The unemployment rate held steady near a record low, at 5 percent in November, in line with expectations.

Federal Employment Agency head Detlef Scheele said, "The current economic weakness is still noticeable in the labor market. "All in all, however, it remains robust."

Eckart Tuchtfeld, a Commerzbank economist, said he sees good chances that the German labor market will continue to defy the economic downturn.

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