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European jobless rate sets record

LONDON — Unemploy-ment in the 17 countries that use the euro hit its highest level since the currency was introduced back in 1999, official figures showed Monday, adding to fears that the region is in recession.

Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, said unemployment in the eurozone rose to 10.8 percent in February from 10.7 percent the previous month. The number of unemployed totaled 17.1 million, nearly 1.5 million higher than the same month a year ago. Of the 17 countries in the eurozone, seven countries had unemployment rates of above 10 per cent.

The figures stand in marked contrast to the U.S. – with an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent – which has recorded increases in the number of people finding work.

Solar energy firm files bankruptcy

WILMINGTON, DEL. — A California solar energy company that was unable to meet a deadline for an Energy Department loan guarantee last year has sought bankruptcy protection in Delaware.

Solar Trust of America’s Chapter 11 filing on Monday listed assets between $1 million and $10 million, and liabilities between $50 million and $100 million.

The filing comes amid the ongoing controversy surrounding Solyndra, a solar firm that received a half-billion dollar federal loan and was touted by the Obama administration before declaring bankruptcy last year.



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