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Eurozone unemployment hits record 10.3% in October

(BRUSSELS) - Eurozone unemployment rose to an all-time record of 10.3 percent in October, official figures showed on Wednesday as the indebted 17-nation bloc falls towards a recession.

The Eurostat data agency estimated that nearly 16.3 million men and women were out of work last month after the ranks of the unemployed rose by 126,000 compared with September.

The seasonally-adjusted rate was above the 10.2 percent forecast by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires, the same percentage as September.

The jobless rate across the wide, 27-nation European Union also rose as it reached 9.8 percent in October compared to 9.7 percent a month earlier.

Almost 23.6 million people were unemployed in the EU in October, an increase of 130,000 from September.

The highest unemployment rate was still in Spain where it rose to 22.8 percent in October compared to 20.5 percent a year earlier.

In Greece, a nation trapped in the eurozone debt crisis, the jobless rate soared to 18.3 percent in August (the most recent available data) compared to 12.9 percent the same month in 2010.

Austria recorded the lowest rate at 4.1 percent, followed by Luxembourg 4.7 percent and the Netherlands at 4.8 percent.

October 2011 Euro area unemployment rate at 10.3% EU27 at 9.8% [Eurostat]

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