Eurozone unemployment hits new record in May, Car sales expected to hit new lows image

Official figures show that unemployment in the Euro Area hit another record in May as the continent continued to be buffeted by its debt crisis.

The unemployment rate across the single currency region rose to 11.1% in May, up from 11.0% in April. That’s the highest figure since the creation of the euro.

May’s unemployment rate compares badly with an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent in the United States and only 4.4 percent in Japan, and is expected to rise further in the coming months as the eurozone economy teeters on the edge of recession.

In total, 17.6 million people were out of work in the eurozone in May, 1.8 million higher than a year earlier.

On the same time, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association is preparing to present official data showing new declines in car registrations across the European continent.

The outlook for the European vehicle market in 2012 has further worsened due to the challenging economic situation in many of the EU member states. New car registrations are expected to decrease by about 7% compared to 2011.

New car registrations in the 27-nation European Union dropped 8.7 percent to 1.107 million vehicles in May, which had one less working day than May 2011, as all major markets except the U.K. declined, auto industry association ACEA said in a statement last month.

ACEA will release June data next week.