Jobless Rate in Eurozone Reaches Record High

The unemployment rate in the eurozone increased to a new record high in April after the recession in the common currency zone deepened during the first three months of 2013.

The data just added more pressure to the leaders of the region and the Central Bank of Europe to spur growth in the economy.

The jobless rate in the eurozone jumped from 12.1% to 12.2%, said the European Union’s Luxembourg statistics office. That was equal to what economists had estimated.

In May, inflation increased by 1.4%, helped by rising food and services prices, another report showed.

President of the EU Herman Van Rompuy said the region is racing against time with too many nations and too many people unemployed, in particular younger people. This he said reminds all of us that the economic battle has yet to be won, with further efforts still needed.

Leaders of the EU met in Brussels in June and Van Rompuy has promised to present new proposals for spurring new jobs and growth.

During the first quarter of 2013, the economy in the region shrank by 0.2%, extending the current recession into its sixth consecutive quarter. The economy has been forecasted to stagnate during the second quarter, before returning to some growth in the third quarter.

The shrinkage in the economy left Europe’s Central Bank to attempt to mitigate the fallout by cutting its interest rates, while also exploring other unconventional ways of helping needy companies receive money, especially in the southern area of the region. This month the ECB lowered its benchmark interest rate to 0.5%, a record low.

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