European Unemployment Hits A Record High, Again

Each and every month recently has brought more miserable economic news from Europe. Today was no exception, as the latest data from Eurostat, Europe’s official statistics agency, shows that the continent broke yet another record for unemployment, as joblessness hit 11.9 percent. That translates to 19 million people out of work in the Eurozone alone (and 26 million across all of the European Union):

Unemployment in the 17-nation euro zone stood at 11.9 percent in January, up from 11.8 percent in December, and from 10.8 percent in January 2012, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, reported from Luxembourg. […]

European unemployment bottomed in early 2008, just as the financial crisis was getting in motion, and has been on a rising trend ever since. The January numbers were the highest since the creation of the euro.

In absolute terms, Eurostat estimated Friday, 19 million people in the euro zone and more than 26 million people in the overall European Union. were unemployed.

Here’s a chart from Lily Kuo showing the rise in European unemployment:

These numbers should show that Europe’s adherence to austerity is not working. But European Union officials have said that they will not abandon their push to slash spending as a way to turn their economy around.