European Unemployment Reaches Rock Bottom

This just in…if you thought the job outlook here wasn’t too peachy, wait til you hear what’s going on in Europe.

According to The Associated Press, unemployment in 17 EU countries which use the euro increased to 11.8 percent in November.

Since the union was founded in 1999 this rate is at an all-time high; the number of jobless equates to 18.8 million.

Data was released today by the EU’s statistics agency and unemployment increased only .1 percentage point in October but increased by 1.2 percentage points from a year ago. The social and economic crises across the pond seems to be exacerbated by government debt.

As per the piece, governments in the union have been cutting spending and increasing taxes. That said, slashing wages and pensions impact employees in their wallets. Although it sounds like the governments are reforming labor practices and promoting employment by boosting skills and educations, such measures take time and don’t yield immediate results.

The sharpest increase in unemployment the past year in Europe occurred in Greece where the rate catapulted to 26 percent in September. This is in comparison to their unemployment rate of 18.9 percent from September 2011. Spain held the highest overall rate where 26.6 percent of its job force was not working.

As for the good news, Austria held the lowest unemployment rate at  4.5 percent. Luxembourg trailed with 5.1 percent and Germany wasn’t too far behind at 5.4 percent.