Eurozone unemployment hits record high

<p>Unemployment in Europe is at a record high.</p>

Unemployment in the eurozone has hit a record high of 11.9 per cent, data released by Eurostat has revealed.

The jobless rate in the 17 countries that use the euro was up from 11.8 per cent to 11.9 per cent in January, the body announced.

It noted that the highest rate was 27 per cent in Greece, while the lowest rate of unemployment was seen in Austria, where under five per cent are seeking work.

"All the data is supporting a rate cut, which we see in the second quarter," said Sarah Hewin from Standard Chartered, suggesting this could occur as early as next month.

Ms Hewin added factors such as "an uncertain political situation with Italy", as well as the Cypriot debt question, could slow the European Central Bank down.

In the wake of the news, the Euro Stoxx 50 was down by 0.7 per cent to a total value of 2597.81 at 08:30 GMT this morning (March 4th).

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