The unemployment rate across the 17-country eurozone hit a record 12.2 per cent in September, with about 19.5 million people classed as jobless by the EU data agency Eurostat.
Thursday’s figures showed that the unemployment rate for August had been revised up from 12.0 per cent to 12.2 per cent.
But with an extra 60,000 people registered as unemployed across the single currency area that meant nearly 19.5 million people were listed as out of work.
The seasonally-adjusted figures compare unfavourably with the rate for the United States, given as 7.2 per cent for the same month.
Chronic youth unemployment data showed some 3.5 million people under the age of 25 listed as jobless.
The top German economy had the lowest rate in this category, of 7.7 per cent.
Greece and Spain each recorded around 57 per cent – with non-euro but new European Union entrant Croatia also suffering from similar youth unemployment, according to Eurostat details.
Analysts said the “revising away” in August of previous falls dented hopes of the labour market having bottomed out.
Meanwhile, according to an initial estimate by Eurostat, the annual rate of inflation across the 17-country eurozone fell to 0.7 per cent in October, its lowest for four years.
“The last time the eurozone inflation rate was as low as 0.7 per cent was in November 2009,” a Eurostat spokesman said.
Energy prices fell by 1.7 per cent in October, deeper than the 0.9 per cent decline in September.
Compared to an analysts’ consensus of 1.1 per cent, the rate fell “unexpectedly sharply” in the view of Capital Economics’ London-based analyst Ben May.
“The latest eurozone inflation and unemployment figures (another record 12.2 per cent for September) will increase pressure on the European Central Bank to take further action to support the economy,” May said. The ECB defines price stability as increases in household and consumer inflation of close to but just below 2.0 per cent.
May stressed that energy, food and core inflation all fell.
Core inflation, a key measure for specialists that excludes volatile energy and food prices, fell by 0.8 per cent, touching a record low level.
On Wednesday, data showing a non-harmonised inflation figure that serves as a benchmark in Spain indicated deflation there for the first time for four years, with prices falling by 0.1 per cent.
Analysts from Spanish group Renta 4 said this was a “sign of the weakness”of the recovery.