Reuters reports Eurozone Unemployment Reaches Near 15-Year High
Unemployment in the euro zone reached its highest level in almost 15 years in February, with more than 17 million people out of work, and economists said they expected job office queues to grow even longer later this year.
Joblessness in the 17-nation currency zone rose to 10.8 percent - in line with a Reuters poll of economists - and 0.1 points worse than in January, Eurostat said on Monday.
February's unemployment level - last hit in June 1997 - marked the 10th straight monthly rise and contrasts sharply with the United States where the economy has been adding jobs since late last year.
"We expect it to go higher, to reach 11 percent by the end of the year," said Raphael Brun-Aguerre, an economist at JP Morgan in London. "You have public sector job cuts, income going down, weak consumption. The economic growth outlook is negative and is going to worsen unemployment."
"With inflation remaining stubbornly high throughout the euro zone, there is very little hope of a consumer recovery," said Jennifer McKeown, an economist at Capital Markets.