The total number of people out of work in the eurozone hit almost 18.5 million in September as the latest figures show unemployment at record levels in September.
Spain is suffering most as 25.8 percent of the workforce are without a job. For young Spaniards – those under 25 – the unemployment rate is a staggering 54.2 percent.
In the past year the percentage in the 17 countries that now make up the eurozone has risen from 10.3 to 11.6.
Joaquin Galletero, one of Spain’s 5.78 million jobless, explained his predicament: “My wife is unemployed as well. We tried to set up a business but that didn’t work out, so we had to close it and we ended up both unemployed. So the situation is unbearable because now we’re starting to owe money to the banks and we haven’t been able to pay our mortgage”
Fewer people in work means they are spending less so eurozone inflation eased, as expected, in October.
It was up 2.5 percent year-on-year, down from 2.6 percent in September.
There was also slower growth of energy prices, which increased 7.8 percent year-on-year in October, but more slowly than in September, when they were up 9.1 percent year-on-year.
Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Economist at the European Policy Centre doesn’t see things turning around soon.
He told euronews: “They had a growth problem when the crisis hit, and now we have on top of the general growth problems we have the programmes, the austerity programmes, the reform programmes and these are also hitting the economy; so they mean lower growth and lower growth means more unemployment.”
Economists expect the European Central Bank to cut interest rates once more before the end of the year, to support the slowing economy which is likely to have sank into a recession in the third quarter.