EUROZONE JOBLESS RATE HITS RECORD 10.9%
- Record high unemployment for the 17 countries that use the euro is set to increase the pressure on Europe's leaders to switch from a focus on austerity to a pro-growth strategy to stop the region from moving deeper into recession, AP reported.
Unemployment across the 17-member eurozone rose by 169,000 in March, official figures showed Wednesday, taking the rate up to 10.9 percent in March — its highest level since the euro was launched in 1999.
The rate was up from 10.8 percent in February and 9.9 percent a year ago, and reflects the downturn in the eurozone economy as governments pursue tough austerity measures to deal with their debts — nearly half the countries in the eurozone, including Spain and the Netherlands, are now officially in recession.
Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the eurozone at 24.1 percent. The rate for the under 25s is an even more alarming 51.1 percent.
Greece was close behind, though its figures date back to January. The country, which has had to receive two massive international bailouts to avoid a messy default on its debt payments, has a general jobless rate of 21.7 percent, with 51.2 percent of young people out of work.
The lowest unemployment rate in the eurozone was recorded in Austria, which has only 4 percent of its working population out of work. The Netherlands, which saw its government collapse last week over disagreements on austerity measures, was not far behind at 5 percent.
The unemployment rate across the wider 27-country European Union, which includes non-euro members like Britain and Poland, was 10.2 percent, unchanged from February but still higher than the 9.4 percent recorded a year before.
- 1219 Death of Armenian King Levon the Second (Kingdom of Cilicia).
- 1817 General Yermolov, Commander of the Caucasian forces and Governor of the Caucasus, stops in Echmiadsin on his way to a mission in Persia.
- 1869 Death of the Armenologist Victor Langlois. He translated Armenian historical sources into French under the sponsorship of Noobar Pasha.
- 1900 Death of Hovhannes Aivazovsky (seascape artist) in Feodosia (the Ukraine). He was born in 1817.
- 1916 The "France-Armenie" committee is organized in Paris. Members of the Academy and other political figures are members.
- 1917 The First Assembly of Western Armenians opens in Yerevan under the Presidency of General Andranik.
- 1919 The Publication of Constantinople's Extraordinary Military Tribunal's decision about the perpetrators of the deportations of Booyook Dere's (Constantinople's district) Armenian population.
- 1930 Creation of the Kanaker Power Station.
- 1965 Death of Hrachia Kochar (writer and public figure). He was born in 1909.