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A worker welds at a Portuguese exporting factory in Pontinha, on the outskirts of Lisbon in this file photo.


Official figures show that unemployment across the 19-country euro zone fell in November to its lowest level in nearly nine years, the latest sign that the economy of the single currency bloc picked up further pace at the end of 2017.

Eurostat, the European Union's statistics agency, said Tuesday that the jobless rate fell to 8.7 per cent in November from 8.8 per cent the previous month. That's its lowest rate since January 2009, when the euro zone was reeling from a deep recession following the global financial crisis.

The agency said 107,000 people came out of the unemployment register during the month, taking the total out of work down to 14.26 million.

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Unemployment across the region has been falling steadily over the past year as the recovery has gathered steam.

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