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Eurozone unemployment falls to decade low

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Eurozone unemployment
Europe   The unemployment rate in July was 8.2 percent

Unemployment across the 19-country eurozone has fallen to its lowest level since the most acute phase of the global financial crisis a decade ago.

Eurostat, the European Union's statistics agency, revealed Friday that the unemployment rate in July was 8.2 percent. That was unchanged from the previous month's rate, which Eurostat revised down from 8.3 percent.

The rate is now the lowest since November 2008, when unemployment was soaring in the immediate aftermath of the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers, the most symbolic moment of the financial crisis.

Unemployment hit a peak of 12.1 percent in 2013 when the crisis, at least for the eurozone, morphed into a government debt crisis largely centered on Greece.

Eurostat said 16.82 million people were unemployed across the eurozone in July, down 82,000 on the previous month.

Though the overall decline was widespread, there are still big disparities across the region.

Some countries, like Germany, are operating at what economists term full employment, with the jobless rate only 3.4 percent. Others such as Spain and Italy have double-digit unemployment rates.


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