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PARIS (AFP) – The unemployment rate in the hard-hit eurozone is expected to reach a record 12.3 percent at the end of 2014, the OECD forecast on Tuesday, with young people the hardest hit.

In its annual Employment Outlook, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development — which counts 34 advanced and emerging countries as members — also revealed big disparities between countries in the zone.

Jobless rates in Germany, for instance, are set to fall under 5.0 percent by end 2014 while they will be around 28.0 percent in Spain and Greece.

“Across the OECD, more than 48 million persons are unemployed, almost 16 million more than at the start of the crisis,” it said in its report, referring to the onset of the global financial crisis in 2007.

It added that encouraging signs of a recovery in employment growth in the United States had been offset by a return of recession in the eurozone.

And while unemployment is set to fall in Germany by the end of 2014, it will remain flat or rise in the rest of Europe.

Young people are and will continue to be particularly hard hit in many European countries, the report said, with youth jobless rates currently exceeding 60 percent in Greece, 55 percent in Spain and around 40 percent in Italy and Portugal, it added.

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