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EU Employment: Eurozone Dec unemployment falls to 4-year low: Eurostat

Eurozone unemployment fell to its lowest level in more than four years in December, official data showed Tuesday, beating forecasts from analysts worried about the global economic outlook.

The Eurostat statistics agency said unemployment in the 19-nation eurozone dropped to 10.4 percent in December from 10.5 percent in November, its lowest rate since September 2011.

Analysts had expected the December figure to be unchanged at 10.5 percent, taking into account the sharp slowdown in China and the huge turmoil on global financial markets.

They said the report was encouraging but still not enough to suggest the economy was back on track and the European Central Bank will have to continue its massive stimulus program.

By headcount, there were some 16.75 million jobless in the eurozone in December, down 49,000 from November and 1.5 million less compared with December 2014.

Greece and Spain continued to have the highest jobless rates, at 24.5 percent and 20.8 percent, while economic powerhouse Germany was on 4.5 percent, compared with 10.2 percent in France where the economy continues to struggle.

A calculation method used by the German authorities resulted in an unemployment rate for Germany in December of 6.3 percent, data showed Tuesday.

Read more: Eurozone Dec unemployment falls to 4-year low: Eurostat — EU - European Union business news and information |

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