The euro zone unemployment rate extended its upward trend in May, rising to a new record high. In May, the euro zone unemployment rate rose to 11.1%, from 11% in April, in line with expectations.
According to Eurostat estimates, the number of people unemployed rose by 88 000 during the month, to a total level of 17.561 million. The highest unemployment rates were observed in Spain (24.6%) and Greece (21.9% in March). The euro zone unemployment rate is at its highest level since records were compiled in 1995 and is forecasted to increase further in the coming months as the economic climate worsened further.
There are however big differences across counties, with low unemployment rates in Austria (4.1%), the Netherlands (5.1%), Luxembourg (5.4%) and Germany (5.6%), while unemployment rates are peaking above 20% in some of the hard-hit Southern countries.