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Unemployment at 8.5 percent in Eurozone

Unemployment in the Eurozone (EZ16) amounted to 8.5% (in adjusted for season figures) in February this year as compared to 8.3% in January 2009. One year earlier, in February 2008, unemployment stood at just 7.2%. In the EU27 the rate of unemployment was 7.9% in February this year following 7.7 % in January this year and 6.8 % in February last year, according to the European Statistical Office (Eurostat).

Eurostat estimates that there were in total 19.2 million unemployed people in the EU27 in February 2009, 13.5 million of which in the Eurozone. Since January this year unemployment rose by 478,000 in the EU27 and by 319,000 in the Eurozone. Since February 2008 the number of unemployed people increased by 3 million and 2.1 million in the EU27 and Eurozone respectively.

Unemployment was lowest in the Netherlands in February (2.7 %) and highest in Spain (15.5 %), Latvia (14.4 %) and Lithuania (13.7 %). In the USA and Japan unemployment amounted to 8.1% and 4.4% respectively. GERMAN