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Published: Tuesday, 7/3/2012

Euro zone joblessness rises to record 11.1%


LONDON — Unemployment in the 17-country euro currency bloc hit another record in May as the crippling financial crisis pushed the continent toward the brink of recession, official figures showed Monday.

Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, said unemployment rose to 11.1 percent in May from 11 percent the previous month.

May's rate was the highest since the euro was launched in 1999 and adds further urgency to the euro zone countries' plan to create economic growth and cut excessive government debt.

May's unemployment rate compares badly with an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent in the United States and 4.4 percent in Japan and is expected to rise further in the coming months because the euro zone economy is forecast to slide back into recession this year.

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