Euro unemployment spikes to record 10.8 percent
LONDON (AP) â¿¿ Unemployment in the 17 countries that use the euro hit a new high since the currency was introduced in 1999, official figures showed Monday, adding to fears that the region is in recession.
Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, said unemployment in the eurozone rose to 10.8 percent in February from 10.7 percent the previous month. The number of unemployed totaled 17.1 million, nearly 1.5 million higher than in the same month a year ago. Of the 17 countries in the eurozone, seven countries had unemployment rates above 10 per cent.The figures stand in marked contrast to the U.S. â¿¿ with an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent â¿¿ which has recorded solid increases in the number of people finding work over the past few months. ___ Construction spending fell 1.1 percent in February WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ U.S. builders trimmed activity for a second straight month in February, pushing construction spending down by the largest amount in seven months. There was widespread weakness with spending on home building, office construction and government projects all dropping. The Commerce Department reported Monday that construction spending fell 1.1 percent in February after a drop of 0.8 percent in January which was revised down from an initial estimate of a decline of 0.1 percent. With the back-to-back declines, construction spending fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $808.9 billion in February, just 6.1 percent above a low hit in March 2011 and about one-third lower than the high hit during the housing boom. ___ GM adds week to Volt plant's usual summer closure DETROIT (AP) â¿¿ General Motors Co. will suspend production of the Chevrolet Volt for an extra week this summer as it tries to control the electric car's inventory. But the company says sales picked up in March to a record of more than 2,000, and it may cancel the extra week if sales stay strong.