With recession in many parts of the eurozone continuing to sap national economies, unemployment has risen to a new high. Statisticians said Greece and Spain remained the worst affected countries in the bloc.
Joblessness in the debt-stricken 17-member group of countries using the euro continued to rise in April, reaching 12.2 percent, the European statistics agency, Eurostat, announced Friday.
The figure marked another month of swelling jobless ranks in the bloc where unemployment has risen rapidly since mid-2011.
In absolute terms, April saw a further 95,000 people join those out of work, bringing the total to almost 19.4 million, 1.64 million more than in the same month a year earlier and the highest number recorded since the introduction of the single currency.
Younger generation's dilemma
The figure included 3.6 million people aged below 25, with youth unemployment now standing at 24.4 percent.
Youth unemployment in Greece reached a staggering 62.5 percent, and in Spain 56.4 percent.
By contrast, Austria logged the lowest overall jobless rate in the eurozone area with only 4.9 percent out of work, followed by Germany at 5.4 percent.
In the wider 27-member European Union, the unemployment rate inched up to 11 percent, bringing the total to 26.6 million jobless people across the bloc.
hg/ipj (dpa, AFP, AP)