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Europe crippled with unemployment

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 30th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Despair and hopelessness has grasped the European Union as unemployment there has reached an all-time high. There were a reported total of 18.7 million people out of work across the Eurozone for the month of October, which was an increase of 173,000 on the previous month.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Two nations at the forefront of the European economic crisis, Spain and Greece, have the region's highest unemployment with more than one in four people out of work. The statistics are even grimmer fro those younger than 25 years of age in both countries, with joblessness as high as 60 percent.

Overall, more than 10 percent of people living in the Eurozone are now unemployed with those under 25 struggling the most to find jobs. The prospect of a "lost generation" of young people looms as an "alarming possibility."

The figures from EU statistics body Eurostat showed the Eurozone recession has pushed unemployment in the currency bloc up from the previous record of 11.6 percent in September to 11.7 percent in October. These figures raise new fears about the recovery on the continent. The Eurozone returned to recession in the third quarter, a recession is commonly defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

"The level of unemployment in Europe remains unacceptably high," Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the European Commission, the E.U.'s executive arm says.

There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon that the latest austerity measures will start to make an impact on unemployment figures.

'We expect that progress in structural reforms, especially those that improve the functioning of labor markets, will help lower unemployment and facilitate new employment opportunities," President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi says.

Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the European Commission, said all EU countries need to implement a new scheme, to be officially proposed next week - to help the continent's jobless youth.

The plan would ensure that within four months of leaving school or becoming unemployed, a young person would be offered a job, further education, a traineeship or an apprenticeship.

"This would extend to the whole of the EU existing good practice that exists in, for example, Austria, Finland and Sweden," Todd says.

The nations of Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus and Portugal are at the forefront of the crisis, all entrenched in recession.

Others, like the Netherlands and Austria are also close to officially falling into recession, having posting declines in third-quarter economic output. Austria nevertheless has the lowest unemployment rate in the Eurozone, at only 4.3 percent.

The currency bloc's powerhouse economies, Germany and France have also seen growth levels fall in the last year. Germany's unemployment rate stood at a still-low 5.4 percent in October, but France's was nearly double that at 10.7 percent.

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