Sept preliminary: 11.6%

MNI survey median: 11.5%
MNI survey range 11.4% to 11.5%

Previous: Aug 11.5% (11.4%), Jul 11.5% (11.4%), Jun 11.4%, May 11.3%

PARIS (MNI) – The rise in Eurozone unemployment accelerated in
September after a slowdown over the previous three months, lifting the
jobless rate from upwardly revised past levels to a fresh high of 11.6%,
according to seasonally adjusted data released Wednesday by Eurostat.

The monthly rise in the number of unemployed, which had descended
from a recent high in June of 222,000 to 69,000 in August, rebounded in
September to 146,000. The record total of nearly 18.5 million was over
two million higher than a year earlier. Close to one in four people
under 25 were without work.

The jobless tide will continue to mount for many more months to
come as economic activity slumps, thereby dampening consumption further
and accentuating the cyclical downturn. The October PMI polls signaled
faster downsizing in industry (46.1) and further job losses in the
services (47.5).

Hiring intentions as measured by the European Commission
deteriorated in October in all key sectors except financial services.
Expectations were below average across the board. Consumers’ jobless
worries also continued to rise.

While Germany is likely to remain one of the few sources of job
gains in coming months, even here the dynamism of labor market is
waning. The jobless rate was unchanged at 5.4% in September, although
national data showed a monthly rise of 9,000. Seasonally adjusted
unemployment rose another 20,000 in October, but not enough to boost the
jobless rate.

In France, the unemployment rate rose 0.1 point to 10.8% from an
upwardly revised 10.7% in August. National data showed a surge of almost
47,000 in registered jobseekers seeking full-time work last month, the
steepest monthly increase in three years. Leading indicators are bleak.
The October PMI polls showed employment falling at an unabated pace
(45.2). Hiring prospects remain unfavorable in all key sectors, surveys
by the national statistics institute Insee show.

Italy’s jobless rate jumped 0.2 point to 10.8% after stabilizing at
10.6% since June. The youth unemployment rate rebounded to 35.1% from
33.9% in August. Istat’s surveys show employment expectations improving
in retailing in October and stable in industry, but eroding in services
and construction. Prime Minister Mario Monti has been able to box
through only part of his ambitious reforms to liberalize the labor

In Spain, where the meltdown in employment has been the most
dramatic, the jobless rate surged 0.3 point in September to a new record
of 25.8%, up 3.4 points on the year. The rate for those under 25 rose
0.4 point to 54.2%. Labor market reforms to reduce firing costs could
well lead to faster downsizing in the short term as economic activity
continues to contract.

Two reporting Eurozone countries saw their jobless rates dip by 0.1
point in September: Austria (4.4%) and Portugal (15.7%), while a
0.2-point drop was seen in Slovakia (13.9%) and Malta (6.4%). Rates
stabilized in Belgium (7.4%), Finland (7.9%), Slovenia (8.4%) and
Luxembourg (5.2%). Increases of 0.1 point were seen in the Netherlands
(5.4%) and Ireland (15.1%). The rate in Cyprus (12.2%) jumped 0.4 point.
Greece reported a 0.3-point rise in May (25.1%).

Only in Germany and Malta were jobless rates lower than a year

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