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Tough 2013 debut for eurozone

Tough 2013 debut for eurozone
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The eurozone’s debt crisis continues to take its toll on jobs

Unemployment in the currency bloc rose to an all-time high at the start of this year, with a huge regional divide.

Just five percent of the workforce is unemployed in Austria compared to at least 27 percent in Greece.

Across the region, January’s jobless rate reached 11.9 percent, up from 11.8 in December.

That is an additional 200,000 people out of work, though some countries’ statistics are not up to date.

At the same time, eurozone manufacturing activity appeared to be no closer to recovery.

The latest business surveys show that in February, a dire performance in France offset a return to growth in Germany.

Factory activity in France, which is the eurozone’s second-biggest economy, has now contracted for a full year.

As with jobs there is a big regional divide. Only German and Ireland showed growth in manufacturing.

There was one bright spot, however, an increase in new export orders.

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