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Unemployment in the eurozone declines

Following record-high unemployment in the euro area in September, a fresh report for October has shown the zone's jobless rate declining for the first time in years. But the situation is still far from being rosy.

Unemployment in the 17-member eurozone declined for the first time in almost three years, the European statistics agency, Eurostat, reported Friday.

It said the October jobless rate in the single-currency area dropped slightly to 12.1 percent, down from a record 12.2 percent in the previous month, marking the first decline since February 2011.

Eurostat noted some 19.3 million people in the bloc remained out of work in October, a decrease of 61,000 month-on-month.

Youth unemployment a major headache

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EU youth unemployment

But while the first fall in the jobless rate in years came as another signal the eurozone was on its way of leaving recession further behind, the situation on the labor market provided no cause for complacency.

Those out of work included over three and a half million people under the age of 25, meaning a slight rise in already record-high youth unemployment, with the rate now standing at 24.4 percent for that age group.

In Greece, Spain and Croatia, more than every second young man or woman continued to be without work despite large-scale government programs meant to ease the situation.

Unemployment in the wider 28-member European Union showed no change in October, with the rate stuck at 10.9 percent, with 26.654 million people still looking for a job.

hg/pfd (dpa, AFP)

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