By Xavier Fontdegloria
The eurozone’s unemployment rate held up at its record low in December, highlighting the strength of the labor market at the end of the year even as the economy lost steam.
The eurozone unemployment rate was 6.6% in December, unchanged from November, according to data from the European Union’s statistics agency Eurostat released Wednesday. This is the lowest level of the historical series, after October and November unemployment rates were revised to 6.6% from the initially estimated 6.5%.
The number of unemployed people in the eurozone rose by 23,000 to 11.05 million in December, Eurostat said. Compared with the same month a year earlier, unemployment decreased by 494,000.
Eurozone unemployment is expected to increase slightly in the first half of 2023 as the economy slows further, economists say. Still, the deceleration in economic activity registered in the second half of 2022 hasn’t so far led to a significant increase in joblessness.
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