By The Associated PressLONG ROAD: Another month, another record unemployment rate for the economy of the 17 European Union countries that use the euro. The EU reported that the terrible economy has pushed unemployment up in the currency bloc to 11.7 percent in October, the highest level since the introduction of the euro in 1999. The rise from September's previous record of 11.6 percent was anticipated after the eurozone returned to recession in the third quarter. NEGATIVE NUMERS: Eurostat, the the EU's statistics office, found that 18.7 million people were out of work, an increase of 173,000 on the previous month and 2.2 million higher than the year before. The wider 27-nation EU that includes non-euro countries such as Britain and Poland had an unemployment rate of 10.7 percent in October and a total of 25.9 million out of work. OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN: As the eurozone's unemployment has inched higher since June 2011, the equivalent rate in the U.S. has fallen to below 8 percent as the world's largest economy continues to recover from its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 393,000 last week.