Unemployment in the eurozone rose to a record 11.7 per cent in October.
Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, says 18.7 million people were out of work across the 17 EU countries that use the euro.
The increase from the previous month’s 11.6 per cent was anticipated in light of the eurozone’s return to recession in the third quarter.
Spain and Greece have the region’s highest unemployment rates – both over 25 per cent, with youth unemployment levels heading towards 60 per cent.
Eurostat also says that inflation in the eurozone fell by more than anticipated to 2.2 per cent in November.
However, it is still above the European Central Bank’s target of keeping price rises at just below 2 per cent.
While the eurozone’s unemployment has been inching upward since June 2011, the equivalent rate in the US has fallen to below 8 per cent as the world’s largest economy continues its recovery from recession. In October, it stood at 7.9 per cent.
Eurostat found 18.7 million people were out of work across the eurozone, an increase of 173,000 on the previous month. The wider 27-nation EU that includes non-euro countries such as Britain and Poland had an unemployment rate of 10.7 per cent and a total of 25.9 million out of work.