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Eurozone unemployment hits decade high

Unemployment in the eurozone has reached its highest level in a decade, rising to 9.2% in April.

This compares with 8.9% in March, and is a substantial jump from April 2008, when unemployment stood at 7.3%.

Unemployment in the largest 27 countries in the European Union (EU27) was 8.6% in April, a slight increase from 8.4% in March. The difference between April 2007 and April 2008 was more marked for the EU27 countries, with a 1.8% rise over the year.

According to figures from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European communities, Latvia, Lithuania and Spain are suffering most, with the proportion of jobless lying between 16.8% and 18.1%.

The Netherlands and Austria fared best, with unemployment levels of 3% and 4.2%, respectively.

Romania and Greece both saw their jobless fall between 2008 and 2009. Meanwhile, the highest increases were in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

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