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Over 26 million people in the EU were unemployed last month

Compared with May last year, the rate of unemployment has increased in 17 member states and fallen in ten.

Image: James Horan/Photocall Ireland

THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE in the euro area rose again in May, bringing the total number of people unemployed in the EU to over 26.4 million.

The level of unemployment increased to 12.1 per cent in the euro area, up slightly from 12 per cent the previous month, according to new data from Eurostat.

In the 27 EU countries, the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent, stable compared with the previous month. In both zones, rates have risen markedly compared with May last year, Eurostat said, when they were 11.3 per cent and 10.4 per cent respectively.

It is estimated that 26.41 million men and women in the EU were unemployed in May 2013, an increase of 16,000 on April. Some 5.5 million young people were unemployed in the EU, though this is a fall of 77,000 compared to the same month last year.

Spain and Greece had the highest unemployment rates, both with levels over 26 per cent. The member states with the lowest rates were Austria, Germany and Luxembourg.

In Ireland, there was an extra four people unemployed in May compared with April.

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The new data shows that, compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate increased in 17 member states and fell in ten.

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