The jobless rate in Europe's euro currency bloc is continuing to worsen.
The latest eurozone report Friday pegged the unemployment rate at 11.7 percent in October, the highest level since the currency union was formed in 1999. Another 173,000 workers were added to the unemployment rolls, pushing the total in the 17-nation region to nearly 19 million.
The jobless rate for young people in the eurozone is even worse — with nearly a quarter of young workers unemployed throughout the currency union. In debt-ridden Greece and Spain, more than half of those under 25 are unemployed.
The eurozone has edged into a recession, with two straight quarters of declining growth. Economic growth has even slowed in Germany, Europe's biggest economy. But economist Carsten Brzeski of the International Netherlands Group says he thinks Germany's economic fortunes will improve in 2013.
“And already in 2013 we should see the German economy growing again, meaning that at least there is one last stronghold in the eurozone and there is the German economy.”
But he said that even as eurozone leaders work to tighten their control on government spending, the currency union's economic fortunes will not improve quickly.
“It's a hiccup from the fact that — okay the eurozone is not going to break up, there is some relief, but if you look at the severeness of the recession in the peripheral countries, it is still there and I think we will probably see a recession of the eurozone throughout 2013.”