Data released on Tuesday indicated that unemployment in the Eurozone fell to its lowest level on record in December, demonstrating the strength of the recovery and the effectiveness of part-time work schemes used to keep jobs during pandemic lockdowns.

The European Union's statistics office, Eurostat, said that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the 19 euro-area countries fell to 7.0% of the workforce in November, down from a revised 7.1% in November, the lowest percentage since records began in April 1998.

Economists had predicted a jobless rate of 7.1%. Eurostat estimates that 13.612 million men and women in the EU were unemployed in December 2021, with 11.481 million in the Eurozone.

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The number of unemployed people in the EU fell by 210,000 in November 2021, and by 185,000 in the Eurozone. In comparison to December 2020, unemployment in the EU fell by 2.196 million and in the Eurozone by 1.828 million.

In December 2021, the EU unemployment rate was 6.4%, down from 6.5% in November 2021 and 7.5% in December 2020.

As the world economy recovers sharply from the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the record low unemployment rate is projected to be a factor adding to already high inflationary pressures created by supply chain bottlenecks.