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Eurozone unemployment spike held down by support schemes

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Dion Global

01 Sep 2020

The unemployment rate across the 19 countries that use the euro currency rose modestly to 7.9 per cent in July, official figures showed Tuesday.

The number of people losing their jobs has been held down by temporary government job-support programs and the relaxation of some coronavirus containment measures.

However, weaker inflation amid sweeping announcement of layoffs suggest that the eurozone economy faces a long struggle to recover.

The eurozone"s overall jobless rate inched up from 7.7 per cent in June as the number of people labeled as unemployed increased by 344,000, according to Eurostat.

In the same month a year earlier the jobless rate was 7.5 per cent Government programs that pay part of worker"s wages if companies do not lay them off have helped keep millions on the job but the respite may not last as the coronavirus continues to restrict travel and activity.

Major employers have announced thousands of layoffs to counter what is expected to be reduced business in the months ahead.

Some are household names such as automaker Renault, airline Lufthansa, travel company TUI, and industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp.

Virus cases have risen in Spain, France and Germany in recent days, raising fears of a further wave of restrictions on gatherings and activity.