BRUSSELS, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- The eurozone unemployment rate fell in November to its lowest level in nearly nine years, highlighting the further pickup of the 19-country bloc's economy at the end of 2017.
The unemployment rate in the eurozone was 8.7 percent in November 2017, down from 8.8 percent in the previous month and from 9.8 percent in November 2016, the lowest rate since January 2009, data from Eurostat, the European Union's statistics agency showed on Tuesday.
Compared with October 2017, the number of persons unemployed decreased by 107,000 in the eurozone. At a national level, most member states saw a decline in their unemployment rates.
But there are still big disparities among European countries with Germany's unemployment rate standing at 3.6 percent compared to 11.0 percent in Italy. And Spain's unemployment rate was unchanged at 16.7 percent.
"Encouragingly, though, France's unemployment rate fell to 9.2 percent, its lowest level since August 2011, suggesting that previous labor market reforms are now having an effect," said Jessica Hinds, European economist with Capital Economics.
The further fall in the eurozone unemployment rate in November marked the fourth consecutive decline, the unemployment rate is likely to fall further.
Statistics showed on Monday the eurozone economic confidence continued to rise to its highest level since October 2000 in December. As the recovery has gathered momentum, the eurozone unemployment has been falling steadily over the past year.
As the unemployment decline seems likely to prompt only a modest pick-up in wage growth, the ECB is set to tread very cautiously in normalizing its policy stance, Hinds said.