Eurozone Unemployment Hits New High

Posted July 31st, 2012 at 11:40 am (UTC-5)
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Unemployment in Europe's 17-nation euro currency zone has hit a new high.

The European Union said Tuesday that nearly 18 million people were jobless in June, the highest level since the eurozone was formed in 1999. The EU pegged the unemployment rate at a record 11.2 percent, equaling the revised figure for May.

At the same time, the EU said consumer prices rose at an annual 2.4 percent pace in July, the same as in June, and above the European Central Bank's target of less than 2 percent.

The high unemployment and inflation have weakened the eurozone's economic fortunes, with several countries mired in deep recessions. Central bank policy makers are meeting Thursday to decide whether to make policy changes to boost the region's economy and help cut the borrowing costs for financially troubled Spain and Italy.