- Joblessness in the 17 country bloc at 11.4%
- 18.2 million unemployed in the euro zone, the highest since the euro’s inception in 1999
- Greece’s entering 6th year of recession
Brussels has warned of an ‘economic and social disaster’ if unemployment continues to rise among young Europeans.
The European Union said there was a ‘lost generation’ of 18 to 25-year-olds emerging, as figures showed the number out of work in the eurozone had reached a record 11.4 per cent – the 16th straight monthly rise.
Some 18.2million people are unemployed in the eurozone, the highest level since the euro was introduced in 1999.
Almost 23 per cent of those without a job are aged between 18 and 25.
Overall, around 25.5million people are unemployed in the European Union of 27 countries.
European Commission spokesman Jonathan Todd said: ‘It is clearly unacceptable that 25million Europeans are out of work.
‘EU institutions and governments, businesses and social partners at all levels need to do all they can to avoid a lost generation, which would be an economic and social disaster.’
The eurozone debt crisis has devastated business confidence and sapped companies’ abilities to create jobs.
A European-wide drive to reduce debts and deficits has led governments to cut spending and lay off staff, while high inflation and limited credit have added to the problems faced by households.
Unemployment in the eurozone could go beyond 19million by early 2014 – around 12 per cent of its workforce – according to accountants Ernst & Young.
It predicted that rate will rise to 27 per cent in indebted Greece.
Meanwhile, the Iranian economy is in a tailspin as Western sanctions hit Tehran hard.
The Iranian rial plunged more than 7 per cent in open-market trade to a record low against the US dollar.
It traded at 32,250 a dollar yesterday compared with around 29,720 on Sunday.
Israeli finance minister Yuval Steinitz said that Iran’s economy was ‘on the verge of collapse’.
He estimated the Tehran government had lost around £30billion in oil revenue as a result of the sanctions – imposed over the country’s disputed nuclear programme – which have slashed Iranian oil exports and largely frozen it out of the international banking system.