Yet unemployment rate in December 2012 still up 10% from a year earlier

Euro zone unemployment holds at 11.7%

The euro zone unemployment rate held steady at its highest ever level in December 2012, according to Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office.

Unemployment across the 17 European Union countries is lower than had been anticipated at 11.7%. However, a total of 18.7m people were without work in December, 1.8m more than a year earlier.

The worst unemployment figures were recorded in Greece and Spain where overall unemployment is above 26% and youth unemployment above 55%. Austria, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands all continue to boast the lowest unemployment rates in the bloc.

In the larger 27-member EU, overall unemployment stayed at 10.7% in December for the third month in a row. A total of 26 million people are without a job there.