Unemployment in the Eurozone reached a record high of 12.1% in May as the 17-nation region continued to struggle against its longest-ever recession, officials said Monday.
There were 19.2 million jobless people in the region, up by 1.3 million from a year earlier, according to Eurostat, the single-currency zone's statistical office. The unemployment rate was 11.3% in May 2012.
Eurostat initially had reported a 12.2% unemployment rate for April, but that figure was revised to 12% on Monday, making May's 12.1% the new high since the Eurozone was created in 1999.And here's the punch line:
The revisions mean the European unemployment picture is better than expected, said Howard Archer, chief economist for Europe and Britain at IHS Global Insight.This is the chief economist for Europe at IHS Global Insight. The EU zone unemployment hits a record high of 12.1% and the chief economist for Europe for IHS says that the revision in the April unemployment rate means the unemployment rate is better than expected. That revision: from 12.2% to 12%.
The unemployment rate is better than expected. Let's see. The rate went up.
This is insane.
Seriously, for the archives:
Spain had the highest May unemployment rate, at 26.9%. Greece had a 26.8% unemployment rate in March, the latest figure available for that nation.
Austria had the region's lowest jobless rate, at 4.7%, followed by Germany at 5.3%.
The Eurozone's economy has been in recession for six straight quarters through the first quarter of the year. That topped the 2008-2009 recession, which lasted for five quarters.