June 7, 2013
Unemployment in the euro zone continued its relentless march higher in April, according to official data published Friday, hitting yet another record, amid a prolonged recession and the absence of a coordinated response by policy makers.
The jobless rate for the 17 countries that use the common currency rose to 12.2 percent, from 12.1 percent a month earlier, with 19.4 million people out of work, according to Eurostat, the European Union statistics agency. Some analysts said the number of people without jobs could hit 20 million by the end of the year.
Despite the rise, most analysts do not expect the European Central Bank to cut interest rates or take other action to stimulate growth when its policy-making council meets in the coming week. Separate data from Eurostat showed that inflation in the euro zone rose to 1.4 percent from 1.2 percent, which could prompt the central bank to wait for clearer signs that there is no risk of higher prices.