BRUSSELS -- Europe's unemployment numbers are rising to worrying new records with dire figures from Spain especially underlining a growing north-south divide, official data showed on Tuesday.
The unemployment rate across the troubled eurozone hit 11.8% in November, up from 11.7% in October, with the number of people out of work in the 17-nation single currency area now nudging 19 million.
The 19th rise in a row for the eurozone, home to some 330 million people, represented an increase of more than two million on the dole compared to a year ago.
London-based IHS Global Insight analyst Howard Archer calculated the cumulative increase since April 2011 as 3.278 million out-of-work.
"The only crumb of comfort was that this was the smallest rise since August, although it did follow a particularly sharp rise of 220,000 in October," Archer said, adding that he expected the jobless rate to "move clearly above 12% during 2013."
While the jobless numbers exceeded 26 million for the first time across the full 27-member European Union, which includes Britain and Poland, the EU as a whole recorded an unchanged 10.7% unemployment rate.
Indeed, there were more jobless over the past year, according to Eurostat data, in the 17-nation eurozone -- where the number of newly unemployed was 2.015 million, compared to 2.012 million for the EU.