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European employment rises to a record

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Employment across both the 19 countries using the euro currency and the 28-member European Union rose to a record in the second quarter, Luxembourg-based Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, said on Wednesday.

Compared with the first three months of 2017, the employment rate increased 0.4% in both regions. Compared with the second quarter of last year it rose 1.6% in the eurozone and 1.5% across the EU as a whole, Eurostat said in a statement.

In the April through June period there were 235.4 million people with jobs in the EU. Of that 155.6 million were employed in the eurozone.

“These are the highest levels ever recorded in both areas,” Eurostat said.

Quarter-on-quarter employment fell in four nations: Estonia, Romania, Latvia and Croatia. Job growth was strongest in Malta, at 1%.

Eurostat said in a separate statement that industrial production rose 0.1% in the eurozone in July compared with June. It fell 0.3% in the EU. On an annual basis the increases were 3.2% and 3.1% respectively.