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Euro area unemployment rate lowest since 2008

Unemployment in the Euro area is at its lowest level since 2008 according to Eurostat. The rate fell to 8.5% in April from an upwardly revised 8.6% in March. Greece, Spain and Italy recorded the highest rates of unemployment while the Czech Republic, Malta and Germany recorded the lowest.

The eurozone consists of 19 members who are EU members and use the euro. They are Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

In a related development, Germany’s unemployment rate hit a record low in May as jobless numbers fell.

The seasonally adjusted jobless total fell by 11,000 to 2.358 million, the Federal Labour Agency said on Wednesday.

That took the unemployment rate down to 5.2 percent, the agency said, the lowest since the country reunified in 1990.

“Unemployment and underemployment have decreased again, employment within the scope of the social security system keeps rising and labour demand is still high,” agency head Detlef Scheele said in a statement.

The majority of the 800,000 job vacancies registered in May were permanent, full-time jobs subject to social security contributions.

Workers were mainly sought in construction, transportation and warehousing as well as social and health care.

Sola Jolaoso with agency reports

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