Business

Eurozone unemployment hits fresh high

Unemployed line up in Spain
Image caption Spain has the eurozone's highest rate of unemployment

Unemployment in the eurozone rose again in April to a fresh all-time high, figures from Europe's statistics office have shown.

Eurostat said unemployment in the 16 nations that use the euro now totals 15.86 million - equivalent to 10.1% of the population.

Spain, Ireland and Slovakia recorded the highest rates of joblessness, with the Spanish rate now close to 20%.

Meanwhile, the euro has hit a four-year low against the dollar.

It was trading as low as $1.2111 at one stage, and was also down to a one-year low against the pound, with one pound buying 1.1935 euros.

The unemployment pattern across Europe has highlighted the divisions between members of the EU and the eurozone.

Spain's jobless rate is the highest in the eurozone and the second highest in the EU, having more than doubled since the beginning of the economic crisis.

Latvia, which is not a member of the eurozone, has the highest rate of the EU, with unemployment at 22.5%.

Germany is the only country to have seen its rate of unemployment fall over the last 12 months, while the Netherlands boasts the lowest rate at just over 4% unemployed.

Across the 27 EU countries, there are now 23.3 million people unemployed - a rate of 9.7%.

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