FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Euro Area's unemployment rate has increased above expectations in December, reaching 8.0% from upwardly revised 7.9% in November, according to data released by Eurostat.

The 2008 year has been a quite bad year for employment in the Euro Area, as the jobless rate grew from 7.2% in December 2007.

Among member states, Netherlands has the lowest unemployment rate, 2.7%, followed by 3.9% in Austria, while unemployment in Spain has grown to 14.4%, the largest rate in the Euro area by far.