Eurozone to see record high unemployment rate in 2014: OECD

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Eurozone unemployment rate is projected to reach a new record high of 12.3 percent by the end of 2014, with the youth hit the hardest, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says.

The OECD – comprised of 34 advanced and emerging countries – said in its annual report released on Tuesday that the unemployment rate will show big disparities among the 17 countries that use the euro.

According to the report, the jobless rate will either stay the same or increase in all the European countries except Germany where it is expected to experience a fall to under 5 percent. In Spain and Greece, unemployment rate is set to hit around 28 percent by the end of 2014.

“Across the OECD, more than 48 million persons are unemployed, almost 16 million more [than the number reported] at the start of the crisis,” said the OECD report.

Youth unemployment will be particularly affected, as jobless rates currently exceed 60 percent in Greece, 55 percent in Spain and about 40 percent in Italy and Portugal, the organization stated.

Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. Insolvency now threatens heavily debt-ridden countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Spain.

The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.

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