Chômage à 12% dans la zone euro!

Unemployed Juan Bayes resorts to begging in Seville. Spain’s unemployment rate currently stands at just over 26%. Photograph: Marcelo Del Pozo/Reuters

TheGuardian . woes deepened on Tuesday after surveys revealed much of the continent locked into a spiral of declining manufacturing output and rising unemployment.

Predictions that the eurozone economies would stage a recovery this year appeared to be woefully wide of the mark as a long-run contraction in manufacturing accelerated and the number of unemployed people in the eurozone reached 12%. Across the wider, 27-country EU the total number of jobless is a record 26.3m.

Britain failed to shake off the gloom after bad weather and weak demand from the eurozone left the UK manufacturing sector contracting for a second successive month in March.

Factories in Germany and Ireland, which fared well last year compared to their counterparts in Spain and Portugal, also fell back into decline in March according to the purchasing managers index (PMI) compiled by Markit.

AP . LONDON (AP) — The eurozone economy has passed another bleak milestone.

Official figures Tuesday showed that unemployment across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro has struck 12 percent for the first time since the currency was launched in 1999.

Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, said the rate in February was unchanged at the record high after January’s figure was revised up to 12 percent from 11.9 percent.

Spain and Greece have mass unemployment and many other countries are seeing their numbers swell to uncomfortably high levels as governments across the region enact tough austerity measures to get a handle on their debts.

The eurozone, which is made up of a little more than 330 million people, is one of the world’s major economic pillars and the turmoil surrounding it has been one of the main reasons why the global recovery has been muted.

A total of 19.07 million people were officially out of work in the eurozone in February, nearly two million more than the same month the year before. For the 27-country European Union, of which the eurozone is a large part, the unemployment rate was 10.9 percent.

« Such unacceptably high levels of unemployment are a tragedy for Europe and a signal of how serious a crisis some eurozone countries are now in, » said EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor.

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