The unemployment rate across the troubled eurozone rose to a record 11.8 percent in November, European Union data showed on Tuesday.
Up from 11.7 percent in October, the number of people out of work in the 17-state currency area, home to some 330 million people, is now nudging 19 million -- an increase of more than two million on the dole compared to the level one year earlier.
While the jobless numbers exceeded 26 million for the first time across the full European Union, which includes Britain and Poland, the gap is growing between the eurozone and its outer EU neighbours, with the EU as a whole recording an unchanged 10.7-percent unemployment rate.
There were more jobless over the past year, according to Eurostat data, in the eurozone -- where the number of unemployed was 2.015 million claimants compared to 2.012 million for the 27-state EU.
Facing a bust property boom and riddled with bad debt in its banks, Spain recorded the highest unemployment rate of all the European countries -- at 26.6 percent, worse even than Greece.
Among under-25s, both countries saw unemployment rates hovering around 57 percent.
According to Eurostat figures seasonally-adjusted for comparative purposes, the November unemployment rate in key rival economies was 7.8 percent for the United States and 4.1 percent for Japan.