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Eurozone unemployment lowest in three years; not in France

media A man gives coins to a beggar as for many ordinary citizens times are harder than ever, La Bola, southern Spain, 27 August 2015. Reuters/Jon Nazca

Unemployment in the eurozone fell to its lowest level in three and a half years in July. According to the EU statistics agency Eurostat, joblessness in the 19-nation bloc has dipped below 11 per cent.

It’s the first time since February 2012 that the official unemployment data raises hope of an economic recovery in the single currency area.

However, the fall in joblessness didn’t happen in France where unemployment rose to 10.4 per cent.

It also rose in Austria (5.8 per cent) and in Finland (9.7 per cent).

In contrast, Italy saw the highest joblessness fall, to 12 per cent or 213,000 jobless back to work.

Germany records the lowest unemployment in the eurozone, unchanged at 4.7 per cent.

The highest rate was in Greece at 25 per cent.

“But improvement in the job market remained modest,” analysts comment, and hope that Europe is emerging from its crisis is still weak.

“We do not expect the eurozone’s labour market recovery to gain much pace in the coming months”, said Jessica Hinds, European economist at Capital Economics.

“The employment components of survey indicators only nudged up in August and remain consistent with pretty weak annual employment growth in the near term”, she added.

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