Dow Jones Newswires: Eurozone unemployment rate falls to 11-year low in August

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The eurozone’s jobless rate fell to its lowest level in more than 11 years during August, boosting hopes that the currency area can avoid a recession even as its manufacturing sector contracts.

The European Union’s statistics agency Monday said the currency area’s jobless rate fell to 7.4% from 7.5% in July, reaching its lowest level since May 2008.

The eurozone economy slowed in the three months through June, and isn’t expected to rebound significantly this year as Germany grapples with weakening demand for its exports and problems in its key automobile industry.

In response, the European Central Bank launched a series of stimulus measures earlier this month, including a reduction in its already-negative interest rate and a resumption of its bond-buying program.

Those measures are intended to prevent the downturn in manufacturing from spreading to other parts of the economy, cooling consumer spending and the relatively robust services sector.

The 115,000 drop in the number of people without work during August suggests the job market remained strong as the ECB launched its precautionary move.