Euro zone unemployment rate unchanged at 9.9%
The European Union’s statistics agency has today announced unemployment in the 16-member euro zone remained at 9.9% in January.
Unemployment rose by 38,000 during the month, leaving the unemployment rate flat at December’s (downwardly-revised) 6-year high of 9.9%.
However, the amount of unemployment in the euro zone is at its highest since the single currency was introduced a decade ago, at almost 15.7 million.
Meanwhile, in the 27-nation European Union, unemployment is at almost 23 million, leaving the EU unemployment rate at 9.5% in January – also unchanged from December.
Last month, official figures revealed the euro zone economy grew just 0.1% in the final three months of 2009, suggesting the economic recovery is faltering.
The economic downturn hit the euro zone particularly hard and the region contracted by 4% over the whole of last year – its biggest fall since the euro was launched.
The figures led many analysts to believe that the European Central Bank will keep interest rates at the record low of 1% until at least the fourth quarter of 2010.