France, Britain Lead June Job Losses

BRUSSELS (AP) -- France and Britain announced the most job losses last month as unemployment in the European Union climbed to the highest point in four years, the EU executive said Friday.

A European Commission report said the French education ministry's announcement that it would eliminate 16,000 jobs this year and next year brought to 19,625 the number of jobs slated to disappear last month.

In Britain, Lloyds Bank said it would shed more than 4,500 posts, taking announced job losses to 11,528 jobs last month. Only 1,960 job losses were announced in Germany, the EU's largest economy, in June.

Some 640,000 people have lost their jobs across the 27-nation bloc since the crisis worsened sharply in September.

More than 21.5 million were seeking work in June, the EU executive said, slightly more than 21.4 million in May, indicating that the unpublished unemployment rate will likely stay at 9.5 percent from a year ago.

The EU report said new jobs are failing to keep pace with the number of jobs lost. Since September, three Europeans have been fired for every one that has been hired.

Men and workers aged under 25 are suffering most from the slump as new hires stall and male-dominated sectors -- construction and manufacturing -- slump on lower demand.

This could worsen before it improves, the report warns. It said recent surveys of European employers show that companies do not expect the employment situation to improve in coming months as consumers continue to keep their wallets shut.

Many companies also indicated plans to shed more staff to cope with dropping revenue and tight budgets.

The manufacturing, banking and education sectors were the worst affected sectors in June.

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