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Unemployment Shoots Higher in Europe


The number of people without jobs is rising across the European Union.

The EU statistics office, Eurostat, said Tuesday the unemployment rate for the 16 countries using the euro spiked to 9.2 percent in April, the highest it has been in almost ten years.

Eurostat said 3.1 million people have lost their jobs in the euro area since April of last year.

The unemployment rate for all 27 EU members is also higher, reaching 8.6 percent in April.

Spain had the highest unemployment rate in April, at 18.1 percent, followed by Latvia with a 17.4 percent unemployment rate.

The Netherlands had the lowest unemployment rate in April, at three percent. Austria had the second lowest unemployment rate at 4.2 percent.

Europe's biggest economy, Germany, had an April unemployment rate of 7.7 percent.

Just last week, a survey measuring confidence in the German economy rose for a second month in a row.

The Munich-based Ifo institute's business climate index showed executives' confidence rose to 84.2 in May, up from 83.7 in April.

Economists consider the index to be an important indicator of the future health of the German economy. It is based on a survey of 7,000 executives. The index reached a 26-year low in March.

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